Grateful mum thanks Portadown colleagues for helping her son who had seizure

January 14, 2022

"I will never forget what they did. We all want to thank them from the bottom of our hearts" – that's what mum Rachel Molloy says about Asda colleagues Ian Sloan and Karen Wilson for the way they cared for her six-year-old autistic son Darragh when he had a seizure in our Portadown store.

Rachel's husband Robert was shopping with Darragh when he had the seizure while sitting in a trolley.

Ian, who spent 38 years in the ambulance service, was called to help and calmed Darragh so that he, Robert and Ian's colleague Karen could safely get him out without hurting himself and off to hospital to be checked.

Darragh, who's autistic, spent the night in hospital and has been diagnosed with epilepsy. He is on medication and hasn't had another seizure since.

Regular customer Rachel wrote to the store saying: "I cannot thank Ian and Karen enough for helping my son and husband. Karen even rode in the back of the car with my son while my husband drove to A&E. It was a scary time and I will forever be grateful for the kindness and fast action of these people."

First-aider Ian, who's 63, used to work as an emergency ambulance technician before joining Asda three years ago. He said: "I went over and the father was absolutely distressed as his son had a previous seizure a few weeks before, but it was not diagnosed.

"I explained to the father that I knew what I was doing and I got the wee boy really calmed down. I just held him to make sure he didn't harm himself, especially his legs, in the trolley. I just wanted to get the wee child sorted.

"As soon as he relaxed we managed to get him out of the trolley and into his father's arms. I think it took about ten minutes in total. He wasn't completely out of it though so we got him to the car and Karen sat in the back with him and nursed him and they drove to the local hospital, which is only five minutes away.

"Karen is a great person. She was with us all the time. She was talking to the father and keeping him calm and reassuring him. It was a big joint effort between the two of us.

"I used to go to jobs like this all the time when I was in the ambulance service; it was pretty routine. It's nice to get praised and appreciated though. It was nice for the mum to thank us, but we were just doing our jobs."

Karen, who's 38 and has worked at the store for seven years, has just recently qualified as a first aider.

She said: "I realised the dad was on his own and had no other help so I just decided to go to the hospital with him and make sure the child was okay. I sat in the back of the car with the child and held him and put my arms around him until we got to A&E. After a while he started to fall asleep in my arms.

"It just came naturally to me. I have four kids of my own so I know how scary it is."

Store manager Stuart Legge, who has nominated both Ian and Karen for Asda customer service awards, said the whole store was proud of them.

He said: "They are both great colleagues who will always go above and beyond to help and I'm so proud of the way they helped our customers in their time of need.

"Ian's had 30-plus years in the ambulance service so this came very naturally to him; he took it all in his stride. He was very humble about what he had done.

"It's so nice of the boy's parents to take the time our to contact the store to thank Ian and Karen for what they did."

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