Girl saved unconscious mother's life by staying with her all night then walking to school in princess dress and wellies

Poppy Davies, 5, in her princess dress
-Credit: (Image: Leisha Davies)


Stepping out of her home wearing a princess dress and wellies, five-year-old Poppy Davies calmly walked from her home to her school nearby and approached one of her teachers. She said: "Mummy's on the floor and I can't wake her up."

Her mother Leisha Davies, 35, was lying unconscious in her bedroom at her home in Pontllanfraith, near Blackwood, and was fighting for her life having gone into septic shock. She had collapsed the night before but her young daughter stayed with her until the morning before seeking help from teachers at Pontllanfraith Primary School.

In the run up to January 18, Leisha had undergone an operation for a twisted bowel but since returning to work she had been feeling unwell, with her legs and face starting to swell. That night her husband Ryan was working a night shift, and it was just Leisha and Poppy in the house.

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Leisha Davies with her husband Ryan and daughter Poppy.
Leisha Davies with her husband Ryan and daughter Poppy. -Credit:Leisha Davies

The last thing the mental health worker remembered was Poppy prancing around in her princess dress before collapsing and losing consciousness. Leisha said: "My daughter spent the whole night with me, she didn't know what to do. In the morning on the 19th, she was in her princess dress, got her wellies on and her little crown. She unlocked my front door and walked to the school gate right by my house. She went into the schoolroom and told the teacher 'Mummy's on the floor and I can't wake her up'.

Two of Poppy's teachers attended the house and found Leisha on the floor, before putting her in the recovery position and calling an ambulance. Poppy was dressed into her uniform and taken to school as paramedics fought to save her mother's life. An air ambulance landed on the school grounds but Leisa required equipment to keep her alive which would not have fitted in the aircraft.

Leisha Davies, 35, of Pontllanfraith, spent three weeks in an induced coma
Leisha Davies, 35, of Pontllanfraith, spent three weeks in an induced coma -Credit:Leisha Davies

She was taken to Grange University Hospital in Cwmbran where it was discovered she was in septic shock and only operating with 15% of one lung working. Leisha was placed in an induced coma after arresting twice. Her consultant, David Hepburn, said Leisha required extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) treatment and she was moved to Bristol Royal Infirmary.

Leisha Davies with her daughter Poppy.
Leisha Davies with her daughter Poppy. -Credit:Leisha Davies

Leisha said she has no memories from this time but was experiencing vivid and scary dreams. She said: "I was picking up things from my mother and my husband talking to me which was making an alternative reality in my mind. When I woke up (three weeks later) I couldn't move my body and I'd had a tracheostomy so I couldn't speak. My mother was stroking my hair and said 'Are you alright?' I nodded and they knew then I was back. They didn't know for three weeks whether I was brain damaged."

Leisha Davies with her husband Ryan and daughter Poppy
Leisha Davies with her husband Ryan and daughter Poppy -Credit:Leisha Davies

It was initially believed Leisha would need both of her legs amputated around the knee but the prognosis suggests half of each foot will be amputated after turning necrotic. She has credited Poppy with saving her life, as well as the staff at the Grange who looked after her.

Leisha Davies with her parents Sian and Stewart
Leisha Davies with her parents Sian and Stewart -Credit:Leisha Davies

Leisha said: I was incredibly proud of her. I hadn't seen her for a month because of all this going on but when she did come and see me I absolutely broke down. I thought to myself she looks so grown up and I felt like I had missed out on so much. But I was thankful I was here, that my daughter had a mum and my mum had a daughter. It was really emotional.

Leisha Davies with her daughter Poppy.
Leisha Davies with her daughter Poppy. -Credit:Leisha Davies

"I always say to (Poppy) 'You're my hero, you saved mummy's life. She liked it when I said that and the nurses bought her a cape which was lovely. The staff at the Grange were absolutely phenomenal, I couldn't fault anyone.

Leisha Davies with her husband Ryan and daughter Poppy
Leisha Davies with her husband Ryan and daughter Poppy -Credit:Leisha Davies

"I want to send out a message that if anybody feels unwell, get it sorted. I never thought Sepsis was bad, I thought it was just an infection, but septic shock is life threatening and a lot of people don't recover from it."