A Dubbo mum says her life has been changed thanks to the actions of a nurse at Dubbo Hospital.
Haylie Bennett says she feels like she "won the lotto", after a nurse jumped into action to help her autistic son Jace during a moment of panic.
The five-year-old has only recently started feeling pain, so when he woke up after surgery at the hospital he got overwhelmed.
"He stood up on the bed and tried to run off. We crocodile-rolled on the floor," Ms Bennett said.
"He's not intentionally trying to hurt himself, he's overwhelmed and having sensory overload. It's almost like he's having a fit and I just have to wrestle him until he's okay."
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The moment was overwhelming for Ms Bennett as well. For 20 minutes she tried to help her son while explaining to those around her what was going on.
While others were unaware of what to do, one nurse saw what was going on and straight away understood. She grabbed textile toys and started to calmly talk to Jace.
"I'm shaking, my adrenaline is running, my face is as red as an apple and she looked me in the eye, smiled at me the most warm smile I've ever had in my life and said 'Mum, go for a walk'," Ms Bennett said.
She took a moment to herself and returned to find the nurse playing "basketball" with Jace and an empty bin. The nurse continued to distract him and play with him to ensure he stayed clam while his catheter was removed.
Then she left.
"She went back to her job like it was nothing. And I was like 'what the heck just happened?'" Ms Bennett said.
"Jace will have a moment in a shopping centre and just lay down on the floor and people will judge us for not picking up my child because he's in everybody's way. I've had people know the situation I'm in but just keep walking or giving me one of those smiles they say 'I know the kind of day you're having'. But I've never had someone actually take control and help.
"It was actually incredible what she had done."
When Ms Bennett got home that night, she cried her eyes out.
"It was almost disbelief. It was like I'd won the lotto. It was that type of cry. Really overwhelming, beyond happy cry," she said.
For the nurse it may have just been another day at work, but Ms Bennett said it changed her life.
"It's really lit the fire in my belly to go out there and be a better human. I want to spread awareness and less hate," she said.
While she never judges anyone for how they react to Jace during a meltdown, Ms Bennett said she wants people to understand that when you see someone struggling, it doesn't mean they're a bad parent.
"Some autistic people look autistic, if someone is missing a leg you can see it. Jace doesn't have anything, so when he has a breakdown and people are judging him it absolutely breaks my heart because if only they were there five minutes earlier and he was smiling at them, they would have smiled back at him," Ms Bennett said.
The single mother said her son was the "most unique, funny, quirkiest, kind child". He opens doors for people, grabs her socks when her feet are cold and always stops to, literally, smell the flowers.
"I wouldn't take Jace's autism way from him because it makes him who he is and makes him appreciate the small things. That's how he sees the world because if his autism," Ms Bennett said.
She said she hoped people reading about Jace would be a little more aware in the future, while any mother who was struggling would take a little bit of comfort in what happened.
As for the nurse, Ms Bennett said she just wanted her to know she was fantastic.