One of the most important things you can teach your children, from as young an age as possible, is what to do in case of an emergency. You never know what might happen, or when you may be incapacitated and need an ambulance or other medical help. These are some of the inspiring true stories of kids who saved loved ones’ lives because they knew to call 911 during a crisis.
- A Mom in Diabetic Shock When five year old Aydhun Byars’ mother, of Aurora, Colorado, became non-responsive earlier this year, he didn’t know what had happened to her—but he knew exactly what to do. He’d been taught by his grandmother to dial 911 in case of emergency. With no one else in the house, Byars called emergency services. “She’s sleeping and she opens her eyes, and she never answers me,” he explained over the phone. Though he didn’t know his address, police dispatchers were able to trace the call and send help. It turns out Aydhun’s mother had gone into diabetic shock. However, thanks to him, she was able to make a full recovery.
- Little Kid 1, Robbers 0 Carlos, whose last name has been withheld for his safety, was seven years old in 2010 when armed men invaded his Los Angeles home. The thieves forced their way into the house and held his parents at gunpoint. Carlos, however, was able to lock himself and his sister in the bathroom—with a phone. His mother had taught him to dial 911 in case of emergency, and that’s exactly what he did. Terrified, he told the operator, “There’s some guys that are going to kill my mom and dad. Can you come, please?” With that, the men broke down the bathroom door and asked Carlos whom he had called. When he told them it was 911, they fled the scene immediately.
- Timber! When a tree fell during an ice storm at three-year-old Elisha Powers’ Georgia home, her father went to cut it up with a machete. Everything was fine until he accidentally cut his right arm badly. The bleeding was serious, and he needed medical attention fast. With his arm injured, he couldn’t dial the phone himself, and his wife was out of the house. Fortunately, Elisha knew what she had to do. She dialed 911 and put the phone to her father’s ear, so that he could explain the situation. She then remained calm while waiting for the ambulance to come and bandage up her dad’s arm. In the end, his arm took over six months to heal fully—but it could have been much worse had smart little Elisha not been there to help.
- Saving Grandpa In another instance of diabetic shock, nine-year-old Isabelle Soubie’s grandfather collapsed on the floor of his home in Kansas while she was over for a visit. He was awake and able to speak, but not to respond coherently. Isabelle knew he was diabetic, but he refused to take any food or sugar, which might help stabilize him. Fortunately, the girl knew immediately to call 911. What she didn’t know was how to unlock her granddad’s cell phone. However, she was able to reach emergency services by holding down the “Emergency” button on the phone. She found the address on an old envelope and gave it to the dispatcher, who sent help. Paramedics arrived and saved the grandfather’s life, and Isabelle was given the “911 Hero Award” certificate and medallion.
If you have children at home, it’s important to teach them, beginning as young as possible, what to do in an emergency. Tell them to keep calm and explain the situation as best they can to the dispatcher on the other end, and to be ready with the address. Most importantly, make sure they know those three lifesaving numbers, 9-1-1.