Six-year-old boy saves dad from diabetic coma


By Melissa Clark


A SIX-year-old boy who woke up in the night wanting a glass of water ended up saving his diabetic father from slipping into a coma.

Bleary-eyed Connor Hoyland walked in to the living room at his Midlothian home to find Derek, 47, collapsed from low blood-sugar.

The primary two pupil managed to stay calm, fetched his father a biscuit, and then called his mother , remembering to unlock the front door for her.


Connor Hoyland managed to phone his mum who rushed home to give Derek the emergency glucose injection



Learning support assistant Clair, who was working late at the local high school, rushed home to give him an emergency glucose injection.

Connor’s calm and quick-thinking reaction to the emergency has  earned him a certificate of commendation from ambulance chiefs.

Derek suffered a hypoglycaemic attack at home in Penicuik after “running around daft” after his son and daughter, Amy.

The staff trainer for Scottish Windows in Edinburgh, said: “Basically I just blacked out, I can’t really remember much about the attack.

“When I’m looking after the kids, I’m running around daft about them and that can have an effect. How much a particular activity can affect your blood sugar if you are diabetic can be

quite unpredictable.

“I was trying to get tea as well and I took something to eat and thought it should be enough. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough for everything I was doing to keep things under control and it got to the stage where I couldn’t recover.”

He added: “Connor did brilliantly for a six-year-old- he was really calm and collected, and able to handle it all very well.”

Clair  said they had given instructions to Connor on what to do if his dad ever had an attack.

The 38-year-old said: “I knew Derek was way past the stage of me being able to do anything over the phone and I was panicky when I left work.

“But Connor was absolutely fine. I just cannot believe how much he carried out everything we told him to do to a T. I remember afterwards I was jumping around in the school playground when I was telling people about it.”

Connor explained that he did not feel scared or worried when he saw his disorientated dad having the attack.

He said:” When I found him, I thought something was wrong. I offered him a biscuit, but he just did not want it. So I phoned mum’s work and spoke to her and she said she was coming home.

“I was OK, I did not feel worried at all. I’m really happy about what I did.”

Type one diabetes can be fatal if it is not treated with insulin and occurs in the pancreas when the immune system destroys insulin-producing beta cells.

Officials at the Scottish Ambulance Service who presented Connor with a certificate of commendation last week, praised the youngster for his brave actions.

A spokesman said: “For someone so young, Connor showed real presence of mind to stay so calm and call his mum, which was exactly the right thing to do.”