This Heartwrenching Real-life Emergency Call Will Make You Cry–And Teach Your Own Kids How To Save Your Life

The tiny voice of Elleemae calling emergency services should be all the impetus you need to teach your kids what to do if the worst happens.

Parents spend most of their time worrying about keeping their kids out of harm’s way. But what would happen if the parent was the one in peril and the child was left to figure out what to do? A new film, a collaboration between U.K. parenting network Mumsnet and agency Grey London, uses the powerful story of a tiny hero to deliver a message about making sure kids know how to get help.


The 90-second film hinges on a real-life emergency call made by a five-year old child, Elleemae, when her mother experienced an epileptic fit and is apparently lying unconscious, leaving the little girl with only her baby sister for company. The recording (prepare yourself, it is harrowing) follows the unfolding chain of events.

Happily, the mother, Loretta, awakes to find her house filled with paramedics and Elleemae looking after her three-month old sibling. Previously Loretta had taught Elleemae to dial the U.K. emergency call number 999 if she ever had a fit and, with remarkable presence of mind, the terrified child had done as instructed.

The film is directed by Academy’s Frederic Planchon, who spent a week with the family, gathering old family films and stills and filming new footage. It is positioned as the centerpiece of an overall campaign, also backed by mobile company Vodafone, urging parents to teach their children how to make an emergency call.

Mumsnet conducted a survey among its users and found that 37% of respondents had not taught their child to make an emergency call, with many of those that hadn’t thinking their child was not mature enough.

These days, making an emergency call is a more complex operation than in the past, as children will often have to find and unlock a cell phone to do so. Grey London, in its ongoing mission to be “a creative company the real world actually wants to exist” has created a website which hosts downloadable tools to help people teach their children how to make an emergency call.

About the author

Louise Jack is a London-based journalist, writer and editor with a background in advertising and marketing. She has written for several titles including Marketing Week, Campaign and The Independent.