Eight-Year-Old Saves His Mum’s Life Following an Allergic Reaction to Chocolate


William Lamb became a hero when his quick thinking saved his mum’s life. 

Mum-of-two Jennifer Lamb was at home with her eldest son, William, when she suffered from an allergic reaction to chocolate.

Indeed, like most mums, Jennifer decided to crack into some late-night chocolate. However, this was when Jennifer unexpectedly went into anaphylactic shock (the result of an allergic reaction to chocolate).

Within 10 minutes of eating the chocolate, Jennifer’s tongue became swollen and her throat closed up. She begins throwing things upstairs and making noise to get William’s attention. Luckily, she was able to alert her eight-year-old son to the fact that something was awry.

William had been planning to spend the night at his grandparents’ house, but thankfully changed his mind at the last minute.  Jennifer told North Wales Live this simple change of plans “really was a life-changing decision”.

If he hadn’t been there I dread to think what would have happened,” – Jennifer says.

jennifer lamb and sons | allergic reaction to chocolate
Jennifer Lamb and her sons. source: Ian Cooper/North Wales Live

Her EpiPen was nowhere to be seen

No stranger to allergies, Jennifer is normally prepared for such catastrophes. However, she didn’t think for a minute that an allergic reaction to chocolate was on the cards.

I’m allergic to wasps and bees so I have an EpiPen, which is always in my handbag,” Jennifer tells North Wales Live.

Of course, no matter how prepared we are, things never go as planned.

I usually keep it under the stairs but for the first time I’d taken my handbag to my bedroom so William couldn’t find it.”

William knew exactly what to do

Struggling to breathe, Jennifer alerts her eldest son to the fact she needs urgent help. He quickly grabs the phone and calls Emergency Services for assistance.

He gave them his name and age and address and told them he thought I was having an allergic reaction,” – Jennifer recalls.

“I could hear vaguely the conversation between him and the operator and I remember hearing him say ‘mummy isn’t well, she can’t breathe’.” 

William didn’t hesitate to help his mum; he follows every instruction given to him over the phone.

He started doing as they were telling him and laid me on the floor and lifted my head back to help open my airways. Because by that point, I was absolutely gasping for breath.”

“He opened the door ready for the paramedics but, other than that, he didn’t leave my side.

Jennifer lamb and son william | allergic reaction to chocolate
Jennifer and her son William. Source: Ian Cooper/North Wales Live

In control the whole time

As Jennifer was dealing with the effects of her allergic reaction to chocolate, William cared for his mum the whole time.

My husband arrived home and he took over but William was just amazing, he was so brave.

“The first response team were there within 10 minutes but, without a doubt, William saved my life.

“Doing what he did gave me enough extra time before the ambulance arrived.”

A true hero

There is no doubt that William’s quick thinking saved his mum’s life.

This could have turned out so differently and I am so grateful for William and how switched on he is. He’s my little hero and the way he acted so quickly and calmly was just immense.

He’s a bit embarrassed about being called a hero and says he just did what anyone would have done, but I keep saying that he’s a superstar because doing what he did at just eight years old is amazing.

When asked how he felt during the ordeal, William told North Wales Live:

I was a bit scared at the time, and then just calmed down and was as cool as a cucumber”

Since the event, William has been awarded ‘Superstar of the Week’ at his primary school. He has also been voted onto the school council, where he plans to ensure all kids know what to do in cases where someone has an allergic reaction to chocolate or any other food or substance.

“I think all children should be made aware of what to do in that sort of situation, even just the basics of calling 999 and knowing their address” – Jennifer says.

“William already knows how to administer my EpiPen in case I get stung by a wasp or a bee, he’s just so switched on it’s unreal.”

Here at Mum Central, we say way to go William!”

If you suffer from allergies, it’s important that those around you know the signs and what to do in the event of an emergency. The Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology & Allergy (ASCIA) is a great resource. Have a read of its information on First Aid Treatment for Anaphylaxis.

Avatar of Jessica Skogstad

A basketball-playing, Doctor Who-watching, high school teaching, mother of two pantless bandits. When she isn't writing, you can bet she is probably doing the sniff test on her kids.

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