11-year-old saves his mother

Posted June 10, 2010, at 7:35 p.m.

GLENBURN, Maine — An 11-year-old Glenburn boy can make a claim few children his age can — he saved his mother’s life.

Kameron Seger, the son of 31-year-old Lisa Hamel, dialed 911 at about 8:29 p.m. Memorial Day after he found his mother unconscious at the foot of the stairs leading to the family’s living room after she fainted. Kameron dragged his mother into the living room and, with instructions from the 911 dispatcher, performed CPR on her.

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“All of a sudden, thump, thump, thump, and I looked at the stairs, and she’s coming down, and I looked, like, ‘Momma?’ And she ends up at the foot of the stairs and she’s not breathing,” Seger said Thursday.

After Seger found his mother unconscious, he went to the phone and called his grandfather — no answer. He called his Nana — no answer. Then he dialed 911.

Seger recalls thinking his mother was dead and being scared while the dispatcher told him to move her into an open space and thump on her chest.

After about 12 minutes, ambulances from Glenburn and Hermon arrived and EMTs took over. Hamel now is doing well and was released from Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor on June 3. She suffers from vasovagal syndrome — also known as vasovagal syncope — which is characterized by episodes of fainting caused by things such as standing up very quickly or stress.

“I’m pretty proud of him. He definitely did the right thing,” Hamel said Thursday. “I obviously haven’t heard the 911 call, but they told me that if I heard it, it would bring tears to my eyes.”

Hamel said she gave her son a list of emergency numbers to call earlier that evening because she wasn’t feeling well. Sufferers of vasovagal syndrome sometimes experience symptoms such as lightheadedness, nausea and sweating before an episode. Seger said he has always been taught both at school and at home to dial 911 in an emergency.

The Glenburn Fire Department and Penobscot Regional Communications Center honored Seger on Wednesday morning at Glenburn Elementary School with an award for saving his mother’s life. Seger, a fifth-grade student who enjoys reading science fiction and playing video games, got a standing ovation from his classmates after he was honored Wednesday, according to Eric Strout, the chief of Glenburn and Hudson Ambulance.

“It was pretty emotional,” said Strout, who doesn’t recall another 11-year-old boy saving a person’s life during the 20 years he has worked in emergency services.

Betty Stone, the supervisor of Penobscot Regional Communications, presented the award to Seger, along with Strout, Glenburn EMTs and Deputy Sheriff Mark Lloyd.

Stone operates a “911 for Kids” program in which she travels to schools throughout the state and explains the emergency service to children and when to call it. She has been involved in the program for seven or eight years.

Hamel said she is very proud of her son and his peers’ response to his actions.

“A lot of kids think that they won’t be” in an emergency situation, Hamel said. “But there is going to be a time that something might happen, that you will be in a situation like that.”

Bettie Hanson of Old Town, who is Seger’s grandmother, said he told her, “I’m so glad I saved Momma’s life.”

Seger, who has two younger sisters and a 7-year-old brother, said the experience hasn’t taught him much except “that humans need air.”

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