“I’ve never considered myself a popular girl but I feel very cared for now.”
Those are the words of one Lancashire grandmother of two who has paid tribute to teachers and parents for their help after she almost collapsed while doing a regular school run.
The afternoon of Monday, June 24 started off just like any other school run for Dot Eatough, who was walking to St Oswald’s Catholic Primary School in Coppull, Chorley, to collect grandchildren Dominic and Frankie after a busy day at school.
But when approaching the school she was suddenly left extremely light headed.
At first she put this down to the high pollen count but soon found herself finding it difficult to catch her breath and reaching out for support.
The 54-year-old, also from Coppull, said: “I was heading to the school to collect my granddaughter when I felt light headed and couldn’t breathe properly.
“In this weather I thought it might have been hay fever but I found myself having to hold myself up on gate posts near the school.”
Dot revealed she “didn’t want the children to see me like that” so stopped near the gate instead of directly on school grounds.
It was at this point that staff at the Spendmore Lane school were alerted to Dot’s situation – with first aid trained personnel rushing to offer assistance to the grandmother-of-two.
After receiving quick and effective care from teachers and parents, Dot was taken to the Royal Albert Edward Infirmary in Wigan where her heart rate and blood pressure were found to be both very low, resulting in her remaining in care for nine hours.
Dot, who doesn’t smoke and enjoys an an active lifestyle, said: “I went to my GP where I had an ECG [electrocardiography] and it also came out low.
“I thought I was going to collapse. I don’t know what I would have done without them.”
The selfless support didn’t end there with Dot, revealing everyone was asking about her the following day.
“The next day all my granddaughter’s friends were asking ‘how’s your grandma?’,” she explained.
“I’ve never considered myself a popular girl but I feel very cared for now.
“The care in the community and the school is fantastic.
“I can’t thank everyone in person but I just want the school and parents to know about amazing first aid I got and the care given to my grandchildren.”
St Oswald’s headteacher Elizabeth Green said: “Dot suffered a ‘funny turn’ at the school gates while on her way to pick up her grandchildren.
“A member of staff who was opening the school gate was alerted very quickly that something was amiss and sent a message into school to ask that one of the teaching staff, who are all first aid trained, to come out and offer assistance.
“One of the teachers quickly went outside and was able to initially offer reassurance and help.
“Several parents also offered assistance, telephoning Dot’s daughter and then helping to bring her into school where she was thankfully able to recover sufficiently to go home.”
Mrs Green continued: “As a family school we take pride in our relationships with our families and the local community.
Dot is a very valued member of our school community.
“As a grandparent to Dominic and Frankie she has always been fully supportive of our school and is always upbeat and cheerful.
“We were sorry to see her poorly and were only too glad to help in any way we could.
“Our thanks also go out to our caring parents who also stepped in to help.”
Dot added: “The pastoral care for the children has been amazing.”