Harrowing Triple 0 call that saved mum’s life
IT RAINED heavily the night before Jacqui Turner nearly died, and maybe it was a miracle, because it hadn't rained like that in years.
It was enough to cut the roads on the usual route she'd take, first to drop her nine-year-old son off at school, and then to work.
So when she should have been on a rural road in Queensland's Western Downs, driving at 100km/h, she was instead at home, where without warning she collapsed to the ground from a massive brain aneurysm.
Jacqui was home with her son Seajay when she nearly died. Her husband Brent was hundreds of kilometres away, driving a truck.
Seajay grabbed the phone and called his dad.
"He said, 'Mum's just fallen down'," Brent told The Sunday Mail.
"He told me she's not talking, she's not doing anything, she's not awake.
"I had no idea what was happening, no idea what could be wrong. All I wanted was to see whether she was breathing."
Brent asked the question but Seajay didn't know the answer. He wasn't sure if his mum was breathing. Brent told his son to put his hand against Jacqui's mouth, to feel for her breath. He told Seajay to shout at her.
Seajay told his dad that he thought his mum might be breathing but she hadn't responded at all to his shouts.
"We don't have neighbours," Brent said, "so I told him, you're on your own here champion. You've got to get your sh-t together.
"The worst part was, I was a bit like a security blanket to him. Once he got me on the phone, the little bugger didn't want to hang up. I said to him, I'm seven hours away, there's nothing I can do.
"So I got him to roll her into the recovery position and recite our home address and phone number and my mobile number. Then I told him to ring Triple 0 and ask for an ambulance straightaway.
"It was really hard for me to get off the phone and then just wait."
Seajay said his mum was on the phone to her boss when she suddenly collapsed.
"It was lucky I was behind her because she would have hit her head bad," the nine-year-old said.
"I called Dad and he told me to call for an ambulance.
"They asked me what the situation was and I said my mum's fainted. The lady said I'll put you on the phone to the ambulance. The lady from the ambulance said to stay calm. She said to say 'now' when mum's breathing. She was asking me a lot of questions. I got upset a couple of times. I was very worried."
Seajay looked after his mum until paramedics arrived to discover the gate to the property was locked. He searched the house for any keys he could find before running the lot outside.
Paramedics eventually managed to find the right key and Jacqui was rushed to the local hospital.
Later, as Brent rushed towards home, a helicopter arrived to take her to Brisbane. He spotted it lifting off as he drove into Tara.
Having driven for many hours, Brent had planned to get some sleep before driving on to Brisbane. But doctors told him it wasn't a good idea, as they didn't think Jacqui would survive.
But she did - defying the odds as one of a tiny percentage of people who recover from the type of aneurysm she suffered.
"The most bizarre part of the whole thing was we'd had no good rain our way for 12 months and the night before we had 95mm. The only reason Jacqui wasn't driving to school was the roads weren't drivable," Brent said.
"So she collapsed when she would normally have been in the car with Seajay doing 100km/h.
"It could have been a totally different situation, that phone call I got. You believe in what you believe in, but someone was looking at the right person that day."
Jacqui said she believes Seajay saved her life by shouting at her and shaking her while waiting for the ambulance to arrive.
"I honestly don't know if I would still be here if not for him," she said.
"If he hadn't done those things that caused me to regain consciousness, maybe I wouldn't have come to at all.
"If I was alone, I don't know if I would have woken up. You don't know. The doctors don't know.
"His voice was the first thing I heard and I just felt like he was in complete control and that I was going to be OK."
Jacqui said they had told Seajay how proud they were of how he'd responded but he remained humble and shrugged off the praise.
"He's my hero, that's for sure," she said.
For his bravery, Seajay has been nominated for a 2018 Pride of Australia award.