A brave teenager whose quick thinking saved his mother's life has been hailed a hero by gardaí.
Dylan Larkin was praised for remaining calm and placing his mother in the recovery position after she suffered a sudden brain haemorrhage and stroke at their home in Navan, Co Meath.
Pamela (43) has been left with life-changing injuries but medics say she would have died if it were not for Dylan.
The 17-year-old was moments away from leaving his home on July 24th, 2020, when a cry from his mum Pamela made him realise something was terribly wrong.
"Mam had just returned home from shopping and she had lunch with myself, Dad and my younger brothers, Matthew and Daniel," he said.
"Dad went back to work and my brothers went out to play. I told mam, who was watching TV, that I was going to the shed and we were winding each other up and fist bumping.
"I went upstairs to get something and got distracted. Then I heard a cry from mam and knew something wasn't right so I ran downstairs.
"Mam had her two feet over the couch and her head on a pillow, dripping in sweat. I was really confused because she couldn't say anything and as I ran to get some water, I could see her falling off the couch so I skidded on my knees across the floor and caught her before she hit the ground.
"I put her on her hands and knees and rubbed her back while she threw up everywhere, then she just collapsed into unconsciousness.
"I knew she could choke on the vomit so I screamed her name and got no response and put her into the recovery position.
"I called dad on speaker phone at 1.16pm and had my left hand on the side of her head to keep it elevated and my right hand on her cheek to make sure her tongue didn't roll back as I constantly talked to her.
"Luckily Dad was close to the house as he was supposed to go to Dublin Airport later that afternoon. He arrived and he held her as I got a towel to place under her head."
Rushed to hospital
The ambulance arrived within two minutes of being called and worked on Pamela outside the house initially before rushing her to Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda.
"I remember standing outside the house, looking at the ambulance and breaking down because I didn't know what was going to happen. I went back in, cleaned up the floor and sat shaking for about an hour."
Dylan's dad Keith was told by medics in Drogheda that he could either wait while she passed away or take a slim chance that she would survive the journey to Beaumont Hospital in Dublin.
Thankfully, she survived the journey and after surgery was placed in an induced coma for three weeks.
Due to Covid-19 restrictions, Dylan or his brothers were unable to visit their mum and their dad had limited visits.
"She didn't respond after a few weeks but my dad told medics that he'd wait another week to see what happens," said Dylan.
"We had just got back from shopping for school supplies when the nurse rang us to say hello to mam. When she turned the camera around, my mam's eyes had opened!
"We were all just crying in delight. We couldn't believe it. We were and are so lucky."
Pamela's brain haemorrhage left her paralysed on her right-hand side and unable to speak and Dylan still panics when he is away from her.
He also helps his dad with her care and around the house.
"I struggled in school and I still do at times. I get worried because Mam is on her own sometimes at home and I'm not there if something happens again
"I still think about it to this day – what if I had gone to the shed instead of going upstairs. Things could've been so much more different.
"People tell me I was terrific but she is my mam and instinct just kicked in."
Dylan was recently honoured with a Meath Garda Youth Award for his actions recently which dad Keith says was so well deserved.
"We are so proud of him. Only for him, things would be very different. We are blessed he was there and managed to stay calm in a stressful time.
"There is no doubt that his quick thinking saved his mum."
Garda Frank Scully added: "Dylan faced extremely tough challenges that any young man should not have to face.
"When not in school, Dylan now has taken on the role as a carer for his mother, helping with various tasks around the house that she is unable to do.
"He is a very brave, thoughtful and selfless teenager. He has done so much for his family when it needed to be done and is a worthy recipient of a Garda Youth Award."