We often don’t give kids enough credit. It’s as much our fault as it is theirs, really. We assume they’re ignorant, pigheaded, and selfish and though they don’t know how to phrase it exactly, they think the same things about us.
This story is about one shy, quiet Texas girl who surprised everyone with just how resourceful she turned out to be, all on her own…
10-year-old Grace and her father, Jeff were working around the house, rearranging furniture in her room. She was trying to make the best of him being there by thinking about how great her room would look when it was all done. It was still her room after all, and that in and of itself was a good feeling.
Just as he was lifting a particularly heavy armoire, Jeff collapsed. Gracie didn’t know what to do, she raced to his side and shook him to no avail. Eventually, after a few minutes, Jeff awoke, but Grace could tell that there was something very wrong with her daddy…
Stumbles and Mumbles
The 33-year-old father-of-two got to his feet and managed to stumble, for lack of a better word, to the couch in order to sit down. Unfortunately, he kept passing out each time Gracie tried to ask what was happening. Her ten-year-old mind struggled to find explanations for what was happening.
In the few moments that he was conscious, Gracie could see that her dad was very disoriented. He seemed confused about where he was and his eyes kept rolling back into his head. Gracie stayed by his side for a bit longer until instinct kicked in: she needed to call for help…
Call for Help
The situation had become increasingly more serious by the second and it was at this point that Gracie realized she needed to call someone to come and help them. She scrambled around for a phone, which as a 10-year-old in 2017, she certainly had, but found that there was a pretty big problem.
Because bad luck always likes to show up at the worst times, Gracie’s cell phone hadn’t been charged. She rifled through her dad’s pockets for his own cell phone, but discovered it wasn’t there. Jeff was unconscious now and she couldn’t ask him where he’d put his phone. She did however have one more option…
Grace, resourceful as ever, ran to her younger brother’s room to grab his iPod Touch. Thinking quickly, she clicked on Facetime and called her father’s cell phone. She listened intently for a moment until she heard a ringing from the other room.
She grabbed the phone and quickly called 911. A few agonizingly long minutes later and the emergency officials knocked on her door. Gracie ran over and answered it. She could tell by the uniforms that these were the hope her father needed. “Where is he?” said one of the men…
Grace walked the man over to her father, who was slumped and still completely unconscious on the couch. They read his heart rate, which was a measly and dangerously low 24 beats per minute. For comparison, a normal resting heart rate for an adult is typically ranges from 60 to 100 beats per minute.
In the ambulance, Jeff was in and out of consciousness. He would wake up, feel as if he was covered in something, but not able to see anything. He could hear the paramedics yelling “Stay with me, Jeff.” But he was too confused to respond. A second later, and Jeff was unconscious again…
In the ICU, Dopamine was administered, as was the blood pressure medicine Jeff took regularly. While this was going on, his wife Kelly was heading to the hospital with Gracie in tow. By the time they had arrived, Jeff had stabilized. Before long he was staying conscious and thanking his brave daughter.
Tests and Uncertainties
Later that night, they weaned him off of the meds and the dopamine to make sure his heart would be able to get back into its normal rhythm. It did. Soon he was awake and talking and even walking on his own. There was one problem though, the doctors weren’t exactly sure why he collapsed in the first place…
After running multiple tests, doctors finally came to a conclusion. The thing that had undone Jeff was the very thing he had been taking as a precaution against this sort of things. In a strange twist of fate, the blood pressure medication he’d been taking for years had caused his heart rate to slow.
Of course, the doctors also warned that it could be something else as well. Jeff could have developed a sort of neurological issue. He’s stabilized since then and is good as new, but has been keeping an eye on his health since that day just in case. As for the little girl of our story, she’s learned a lot…
Kelly Frederickson is more than proud of how her daughter reacted to such a harrowing situation. She admitted that this was Gracie’s first real emergency and that they had not done anything prior to that day to teach them what to do if a parent collapsed.
Since that day though, the Fredericksons have made sure to drill emergency behavior into the kids. They are cognizant of what might have happened if Gracie hadn’t acted so fast. She stayed calm in a moment that would have forced an adult to panic…
The day after he went into the hospital, Kelly took to Facebook saying, “…We appreciate all the text, calls, prayers, and offers to help. We are truly blessed to have so many wonderful people in our lives….Special prayers for Grace-she has been so strong and was so heroic Friday she has since been having emotional times and having a hard time leaving the hospital.”
“She was able to stay strong for her daddy and brother,” said Kelly Frederickson. If not for her quick thinking, her father wouldn’t be alive. It’s not the only life lesson that she’s learned out of this nearly-tragic experience either. She learned one irrefutable fact that everyone should know nowadays…
The most important lesson that Grace Frederickson learned from her father’s near-death experience? To always keep her cell phone charged. It just goes to show, you never know what can happen or who you might need to call in a pinch.
Kids These Days
Say what you will about kids and their mostly unhealthy attachment to electronic devices, but this story just illustrates how important those devices are in our everyday lives. If Gracie hadn’t known to use Facetime, Jeff may not have been rescued in time.