Police give 7-year-old award of appreciation for bravely helping her grandmother

Madeline Vickers, left, with her nana Pat Sutherland, and Sergeant Andrew Francis.

Madeline Vickers, left, with her nana Pat Sutherland, and Sergeant Andrew Francis.

While her grandmother was struggling to breathe on the side of the road, Madeline Vickers took action.

The 7-year-old was returning from a day out with "Nana Pat".

During the day out, Pat Sutherland had fallen in a downtown car park in Auckland city and assumed she was ok. But, with several broken ribs she didn't know about, she had to pull over on the way home.

"When we went over bumps, it hurt her," Madeline says.

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"She was driving and then she thought she had to stop because she felt really sore and thought she was going to faint. I told her to pull over."

The pair pulled up in front of the police centre north of Auckland's Harbour Bridge and Madeline ran to get help.

"I saw someone coming out of the building and I said, 'Can you please help, my nan has taken a fall.' "

Sergeant Andrew Francis was changing shifts when Madeline ran towards him.

Francis says Sutherland was in distress and was having trouble breathing while Madeline had been looking for help but the young girl went "above and beyond" in the circumstances.

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"Kids are pretty good. They're hardy and resilient. She gave us all the information and communicated with us," Francis says.

Madeline called an ambulance as well as her mother, whose number she has known by heart since the age of 4.

"I said to her, 'Nan has taken a fall in a downtown car park and she's in serious pain' and I also told my mum where we were," the Hillcrest resident says.

Eight weeks after the August 24 incident, Madeline was awarded a District Road Policing Manager's Certificate of Appreciation for her determination, perseverance and cool head under pressure.

Madeline says, while she felt a bit scared but brave at the time of the incident, she was both nervous and excited to be receiving the award, which was accompanied by a police dog soft toy.

Sutherland says, while she doesn't remember much from the day, she's proud of Madeline.

 - Stuff

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