In an emergency situation, it’s a parents’ responsibility to see to the safety of their children. Especially when they’re very young, they’re not as able to fend for themselves as an adult would be.
But what happens when the emergency is that the parent needs help? When one parent found herself in a life-or-death situation, it was her young child that would actually become the hero…
Afternoon With The Kids
On a Wednesday afternoon in Cleveland, Ohio, Miranda was at home with her 3 young children. Her middle child, the 2-year-old Justin was due for a bath so she’d cleaned the kitchen sink, filled it with warm water, and wrangled the toddler long enough to get him into the “bath.”
While he splashed away at the water, having a great time and making a mess of things, Miranda was getting the real work done. She lathered him up, careful to keep the kid-friendly soap out of his eyes. As she bathed Justin, her other 2 kids were close at hand…
3 Bundles Of Joy
Her oldest, the 3-year-old Dorothy was splitting her attention between playing with her toys and barraging her mother with questions as toddlers tend to do while her 5-month-old was on the floor, strapped into a car seat, resting peacefully.
It was one of those moments of parenthood that often gets overlooked because it’s so ordinary but is truly perfect in its simplicity. But the idyllic moment would be shattered in an instant when something terrible happened…
Without warning, Miranda went from bathing her child to lying unconscious on the floor. “I suffer from narcolepsy so occasionally I just have episodes where I just pass out,” Miranda said. Such an episode can occur at any time and can turn an ordinary activity — like giving your kid a bath — into something very dangerous.
No One To Help
It was especially bad because, aside from her children, Miranda Craig was home alone. With no one there to address the situation, both Miranda’s life and the lives of her children were at risk. Thankfully, her daughter Dorothy was a quick thinker…
Though she wasn’t even old enough to go to school and was just learning her letters, Dorothy’s mother had already taught the toddler about 911. She knew that because when her mother was having a “spell” she had to pick up the phone and dial those 3 magic numbers.
Without The Words
Dorothy opened up her mother’s phone and called emergency services and when the dispatcher said “Liberty County 911,” she simply responded “Mommy.” But when the dispatcher asked her what was wrong, the little girl was unable to articulate the problem…
‘Her Was Dying’
The toddler did her best to explain the problem, saying “Her fall down on the floor and was dead on the floor. Her was dying.” Beyond that, Dorothy just kept repeating “mommy” again and again.
The dispatcher, a woman named Lela Holley, could hear crying in the background and knew she had to find the girl’s location to help with the emergency. One of her fellow dispatchers hurriedly “pinged” the cellphone Dorothy was using to track down its approximate location…
Keep Talking, Sweetie
Meanwhile, Holley’s primary goal was to keep Dorothy on the phone talking long enough to pin down the general area while at the same time, trying to get the toddler’s help in finding her exact house.
As police and medics made it to Miranda’s neighborhood and began knocking on doors to find Miranda, Holley enlisted Dorothy’s aid. “Open the door for me, OK?” she said. “I have deputies out looking for you. Open the door for me, OK?”…
As the 3-year-old tried to get the front door open, Holley asked her if she could hear sirens or see any flashing lights. “I do, I think,” The little girl said into the telephone. After a 30-minute search, one of the deputies spotted a little boy in the window. It was Justin, still splashing away in the sink.
Checking On Mommy
They entered the house, asked Dorothy where her mother was and found Miranda lying on the floor, and the 5-month-old was crying in the car seat. They immediately checked on her to make sure she was still alive…
Under The Spell
Thankfully, Miranda hadn’t sustained a significant head injury when she’d collapsed. She was simply asleep due to her narcoleptic episode. Within a short period of time, the deputies were able to wake her or, as Dorothy put it, “You wouldn’t wake up from the spell and the cops broke the spell.”
Miranda was beyond grateful, saying “I’m very thankful for all the cops and paramedics that came out. They told me that they had all of Liberty County looking for me because she couldn’t really tell them exactly where we were at.”…
She was also very grateful to her daughter, not to mention glad that she’d spent the time teaching her about 911. “We’ve worked with her for a long time about helping mama,” Miranda said. “If mama’s hurt or something go and call 911… so that’s exactly what she did.”
My Little Hero
This wasn’t even the first time Dorothy has had the presence of mind to call 911 during one of her mother’s episodes. “She’s done it for me twice now,” Miranda said. “She’s my little hero.”…
Smart Little Girl
“I am extremely proud of her,” The mother added, extremely proud of her daughter’s performance: “She’s such a smart little girl. It makes me happy to know that she knows what to do to get help for anyone, not just her mother.”
Miranda Craig’s story highlights an important lesson for parents: It’s never too early to teach your children about 911. You never know when an emergency situation will arise and if they’re able to call for help in the event that there are no adults around, it could save the child’s life or someone else’s.
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