Joel Johnson thought his mum was going to die.
She was lying on the floor, unconscious and bleeding, with no one but her 7-year-old son to save her.
In a matter of seconds, the usual pre-school rush had come to an abrupt halt when Emma Jeffery fainted and hit her head on the pantry door, causing a cut to the head and a seizure.
"I was feeling worried because if I wasn't there, she would be dead and I wouldn't have a mum," Joel says.
But Joel knew what to do. His training kicked in after having completed a school programme which taught him basic first aid skills.
"I went outside and called for help five times," Joel said. When no one responded, he went back inside and after a few tears, pulled himself together.
"I took 10 deep breaths and I went to search for mum's phone and then I found it so I called 111."
He followed the instructions of the St John call handler and grabbed a towel to apply pressure to the wound on her head, tried to turn his mother into a recovery position and waited for the ambulance crew to arrive.
He recalls her waking up twice and giving him a hug – something she does not remember.
While the embrace was comforting, it did not do enough to allay Joel's concerns.
St John intensive care paramedic Grant Gray responded to the incident on July 4 and says Joel was as "cool as a cucumber".
"Joel remained very calm and collected and gave us the information that we needed, and showed us around to his mum and provided care that she needed before we arrived."
Before they transported Emma to Hawke's Bay Hospital, they dropped Joel off at Onekawa School, calling beforehand and with the instruction for Joel to go straight to the school office to explain why he was late.
His mum couldn't be more proud of him.
"I was still quite foggy then. I remember Joel had a little bit of blood on his shirt but he was quite keen to go to school and share what happened," she recalls.
"I think I was saying to him, 'oh my gosh, you're my hero'. Every day now, he says to me, don't call me Joel, mum, call me your little hero," Emma said.
She didn't know he had completed the programme early last year but says it is "amazing that he knew what to do".
The incident has boosted his confidence, and now he hopes to be an All Black and work for St John when he grows up.
His school, with principal, Steve Bloor at the helm, held an assembly to acknowledge his bravery and presented him with a certificate, as well as put a notice in the school bulletin.
He says he's popular with his classmates now. He is the "shortest and youngest" in his class and is proud that he's been able to save his mum's life.
On Wednesday another assembly was held in his honour.
ASB Bank chief executive Vittoria Shortt presented him with a bravery award and a box of Lego, as Gray fitted on him a bright yellow cape.
St John director of community health services Sarah Manley says ASB St John in Schools is aimed at equipping children with the skills and confidence to take action in an emergency situation.
Manley said St John receives more than 50 1-1-1 emergency calls from children every month.
"We are committed to building resilient and connected communities and recognise that children of all ages can play a significant part in improving the health and wellbeing of their communities."
While it is still not known what caused Jeffery to faint, and again a month later, she hopes to find out sometime soon.
Schools interested in the programme can contact St John online at www.stjohn.org.nz/schools