When Nicola Adams’s mum Dee woke up feeling a bit under the weather, the family thought she just had the flu so didn’t think much of it.
The boxing superstar, who was just 14 at the time, went off to school with her younger brother, Kurtis.
But when they got home, Dee was still in bed and Nicola knew something wasn’t right, so she called an ambulance.
Her quick thinking saved her mum’s life, as she had contracted meningitis and her brain was already starting to shut down.
Recalling the terrifying day on her Desert Island Discs interview, Nicola explains: “At the hospital they were asking her questions and her brain had already started to close down from the meningitis. She couldn’t remember her date of birth or how old she was, she said she had two daughters. I was like, wow, she’s really sick.
“We didn’t realise that she was dying and that’s why her brain was starting and that’s why she couldn’t remember anything.
“Luckily we got her to the hospital in time and they were able to save her life.”
Nicola’s dad wasn’t around at the time, leaving her to look after Kurtis on her own.
She said: “It was really tough. My mum was in hospital for a couple of months which left me and my brother at home.
“I had to pretty much do everything, I had to grow up quite quickly.
“I felt I had to be the strong person.”
After three months in hospital, Dee was able to come home but still needed a lot of care – which fell to Nicola.
“I was still taking care of my mum, even though she didn’t like it very much. She wanted to be back on her feet as quickly as possible.
“I had to get my brother up, get him ready for school, make sure I got to school on time, pick him up and have dinner then take him to see my mum at the hospital.”
Speaking about their close relationship, Nicola told the radio programme about how important her mum is to her.
She said: “She loved the fact that I was doing something that I enjoyed doing.
“She’s always been my number one fan and the person who has worked the hardest in the background, taking me to the gym and taking me to training camps and trying to raise the funds so I could go away to competitions.
“She worked really hard.”