Young girl awarded for selfless act of bravery to save sister

6 December 2019
In January this year, seven-year-old Ella Andrews was at the Piara Waters Pavilion playground with her younger sisters Emily and Tayla, stepmum Kelsey and some friends. As the girls headed back towards their mothers, a large rottweiler that was playing nearby suddenly ran at 18-month-old Emily.

Emily’s mum Kelsey recounts the incident, and young Ella’s brave actions. “A dog was playing about 50 metres away with its owners. The owners kicked a football and the dog started to run towards the football but then changed direction and started running towards Emily. Ella saw the dog coming towards Emily, so she ran and picked Emily up off the ground. The dog then jumped up to try and get Emily again, but instead got Ella’s arm. It bit her arm and took a big gash out of her arm before being taken away by the owner.”

They all ran to see how Ella was, finding large open wounds on her arm and blood everywhere. “Ella went to hospital by ambulance and she was in hospital for two nights in Perth Children’s Hospital. She had to have over 12 stitches in her arm as there were two open wounds. After that, she had to have it covered up for a couple of weeks and she’s still got quite a big scar on her arm from it. She’s absolutely terrified of needles now,” says Kelsey.

“My partner and I, and Ella’s mum and her partner are just very annoyed and upset that it happened. There were so many people at the oval and a dog being there would have been overly stimulated, and it probably shouldn’t have been off the lead with that many people and kids around.”

Kelsey says the incident has also made Ella afraid of dogs. “She’s really nervous about ones she doesn’t know, she won’t go near them and, if they run towards her, she hides behind us so they can’t get to her. But she didn’t want the dog to be put down or anything, she thinks it was playing. The way she explains it, she didn’t want the dog to be put down, but she’s still really scared of dogs and doesn’t like to go near them.”

Ella Andrews and familyElla was recently awarded a Gold Medallion Bravery Award for her courageous and selfless act, and Kelsey says her family are extremely proud of what Ella did that day. “I wouldn’t think a seven-year-old would have done something like that. She put Emily’s life before her own, so I think she was really brave and should be proud of her actions. If the dog had bitten Emily it probably would have almost cut her in half, so she probably wouldn’t be here.”

“Ella has definitely saved Emily’s life by picking her up. I just think that it’s her personality and just who she is – she looks after others before herself. I’m extremely proud of her, and I’m just her stepmum. I know her mum and dad are both extremely proud of her as well.” Ella’s family also wish to thank all the people who helped them on the day, especially the Piara Waters Cricket Club who assisted Ella with first aid.

Do you know anyone who has performed an act of bravery to help save someone’s life? Nominate them for a Bravery Award at the link below.
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