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Boy, 10, honoured for helping mother who suffered seizure

Apr 12 2012
Meet 10-year-old Elijah Ransome, the youngest recipient of the Victoria police’s citizen commendation, awarded for his quick response after his mother, Janice Jensen, left, suffered a seizure. 

Meet 10-year-old Elijah Ransome, the youngest recipient of the Victoria police’s citizen commendation, awarded for his quick response after his mother, Janice Jensen, left, suffered a seizure.

Photograph by: Adrian Lam, Victoria Times Colonist , timescolonist.com April 11, 2012

Ten-year-old Elijah Ransome is the youngest recipient of Victoria police’s citizen commendation, which recognized his quick thinking in getting help for his mother after she suffered a seizure one night in December.

With a bit of nerves mixed with pride, Ransome received the award in front of a crowd of police officers and families Wednesday during the department’s annual honours ceremony.

On the night of Dec. 11, Elijah, then nine years old, awoke to find his bedroom light on.

Wondering why his mother hadn’t turned it off, he called out to her. He called out again and when he heard no response, he went to look for her. Janice Jensen, 35, was unconscious and unresponsive on the bathroom floor, having suffered a seizure minutes before.

“She didn’t respond, she was just moaning,” Elijah recalled. “I knew something was wrong.”

Elijah knew enough to check for a pulse but was unable to rouse his mother.

Elijah didn’t want to alarm his four-year-old brother, who was still sleeping, so he ran to the neighbouring house to get help, as his mother had told him to do in case of an emergency.

Within minutes, police, fire and paramedics were treating Jensen. She was taken to hospital, where she made a full recovery.

“The swift, courageous and cool-headed actions of Elijah enabled emergency services personnel to treat Elijah’s mother,” the citation reads.

Elijah, dressed in a blazer, a crisp white shirt, jeans and sneakers, smiled as he accepted the award from Victoria Police Chief Jamie Graham, who knealt down to be at Elijah’s height.

“It feels really good,” said the South Park Elementary Grade 4 student.

Jensen was beaming with pride as her son answered questions from the media.

“I’m just really honoured that he would get an award like this and inspire other kids to act in a way that’s appropriate and maybe save a life,” Jensen said. “It’s pretty cool when you look at the role model factor of that.”

Victoria police also recognized another civilian, Phaedra Matus, 26, who prevented a distraught woman from jumping off the Point Ellice bridge on the evening of Dec. 7, 2011.

Matus saw the woman climbing over the safety railing and stopped her car in the middle of traffic to reach out to the woman.

As the woman leaned out, holding onto the railing with one hand, Matus grabbed her by the waist and pulled her over and motioned to another driver to call 911.

Matus stayed with the woman until police arrived and took her to hospital.

Matus, an insurance broker, said her mother had passed away five years ago and she didn’t want to lose someone again, even if it was a stranger.

“I just kind of did what I did. It kind of bothers me all the people who drove by and didn’t do anything,” she said.

Insp. Darrell McLean, who recently retired after 31 years with the force, was given the chief constable’s commendation for meritorious service.

It recognized his work in establishing the regional Integrated Mobile Crisis Response Team, a team of doctors, mental health workers and police who respond to mental health emergencies.

kderosa@timescolonist.com

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