Heroic girl, 5, walks to school in princess dress and says 'mummy can't wake up'

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


A courageous five year old girl spent the night with her unconscious mum before walking to school in a princess dress, crown and wellington boots to tell her teacher 'mummy can't wake up'.

Poppy Davies was playing in her princess outfit at their Pontllanfraith home, near Blackwood in Wales, when her mother Leisha collapsed into septic shock, according to Wales Online. Leisha, 35, had recently undergone surgery for a twisted bowel.

Unsure of what to do, the brave little girl stayed by her mother's side all night. The following morning, quick-witted Poppy unlocked the door and walked to Pontllanfraith Primary School, telling her teachers: "Mummy's on the floor and I can't wake her up."

Leisha credits her daughter with saving her life. Prior to her collapse on January 18, she had been feeling unwell since returning to work, with swelling in her legs and face.

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That evening, her husband Ryan was working a night shift, leaving just Leisha and Poppy at home. The last thing the mental health worker recalls is seeing Poppy playing in her princess dress before she lost consciousness. Leisha shared: "My daughter spent the whole night with me, she didn't know what to do.

"On the morning of the 19th, she was in her princess dress, put on her wellies 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 rushed to the house, finding Leisha unconscious on the floor. They quickly put her in the recovery position and called for an ambulance. Meanwhile, they got Poppy ready for school as paramedics worked tirelessly to save her mum.

An air ambulance landed at the school, but Leisha needed life-saving equipment that couldn't fit in the aircraft. She was then transported to Grange University Hospital in Cwmbran where it was revealed she was in septic shock with only 15 per cent of one lung functioning.

After suffering two cardiac arrests, Leisha was put into an induced coma. Her consultant, David Hepburn, stated that she needed extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) treatment and she was transferred to Bristol Royal Infirmary.

Leisha recalls having no memories from this period, but experienced vivid and frightening 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."

It was originally thought that Leisha would need amputations around the knee on both legs, however, it's now predicted that only half of each foot will be removed, having become necrotic. Grateful to her daughter Poppy and the team at The Grange for their care, Leisha credits them with saving her life.

Leisha expressed: "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. 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.

"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."

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