It must be pretty scary for a child to have to suddenly go into adult mode. As adults, we all want to try to raise our children as well as we can and hope that they can retain as much of their innocence as possible for as long as possible. But, sometimes the world can be unpredictable, and sometimes kids can get thrust into situations that are beyond their control. Well, how about this girl's example of remaining cool, calm, and collected under pressure?!
Shaping our children
Parents bring their kids into the world, and it is their job to teach their kids about how the world works, and keep them safe. They probably don't imagine that there might come a day when their children have to keep them safe!
We can never be too careful these days, and what might start out like a normal day can sometimes take a turn for the worse. This family was about to experience that first-hand, and luckily, there was a hero in their midst.
The family at the heart of our tale are Jeff and Kelly Fredericksen, 10-year-old daughter Grace, and her younger brother.
The family had a close bond and loved to spend their time taking vacations and trips together and bonding as a unit. One day, Jeff decided he was going to tidy and decorate the home, and Grace was eager to assist him. She even had some ideas of her own about how the process should work too!
Decluttering the home
Father and daughter set to work on the tidying and decorating project. The house was going to get a makeover, but Grace also wanted to decorate her bedroom as well.
So, Jeff made the decision that they would tackle the bedroom, and, after moving the furniture, they would have space to do whatever Grace wanted. Anything from repainting to rearranging the layout of the room for maximum impact. As long as it gave Grace the scope to do what she wanted, Jeff decided it would be worth it.
As is often the case with home renovation projects, Dad decided that this was something he could, and should, do himself. Moving and clearing the bedroom had proved pretty straightforward, however, things were about to get trickier.
Grace had a large wardrobe in her bedroom that was incredibly heavy. So, Jeff decided that he would tackle this one himself while Grace tended to smaller, lighter things. However, Grace was in for a shock when she turned back to her father and found him lying on the floor.
Worried and concerned
We imagine this must have been a pretty scary event for Grace, and we have no idea what must have been going through the young girl's head at this time. She began shaking her father in the hopes that she would wake him up, and it worked.
With Grace's help, Jeff was able to stagger to the couch, but he kept passing out even when sat on the couch. Grace must have been in full-on panic mode by this stage, wondering what was happening to her father – especially as they were the only two at home.
Working on instinct
Grace knew that the situation was a bad one and that she needed to act quickly. The problem was that nobody had ever shown her what she needed to do in the event of an emergency and so she felt completely unprepared.
Luckily, this was one resourceful little girl, and she knew that someone, somewhere would know exactly what to do. The problem was, it was just Grace and her father at home, so she needed to operate on instinct and resourcefulness.
Becoming the adult
Every time Jeff would regain consciousness it would only be very brief, and then his eyes would roll back, and he would pass out again. He wasn't able to comfort Grace or tell her what she needed to do to deal with the situation.
The 10-year-old was going to need to adult her way out of the situation. A big ask for any kid, but especially one watching her Dad in a potentially life-threatening situation. Then it occurred to Grace, perhaps she wasn't quite as alone as she thought!
Phoning for help
The young girl realized that she could use her cell phone to call for help, so she frantically set about looking for it. Many kids have cell phones at a young age, and some people see this as being a problem.
Well, luckily, this is one of the occasions that shows why kids having cell access at a young age is a positive thing. Unfortunately, Grace discovered her phone had run out of battery, and she didn't have time to charge it; things were not looking good.
Hunting for alternatives
Grace knew her phone was out of the equation, as she needed to act quickly. But what about her father's phone? It wasn't on him, and she didn't have the time to check every room in the house! What was she going to do?
She considered the option of racing next door and alerting the Fredericksen's neighbors, but she was too scared to leave Jeff in case something happened. She was fast running out of ideas, and there seemed only one viable option left.
Grace came up with an idea, and that was to try to call her father's phone in order to find it so that she could use it to call for help. But, the problem was that her phone was out of battery, so this was impossible, right?
Wrong! The young girl remembered her little brother had an iPad Touch, so she raced to his bedroom to find it. This would let her FaceTime her dad's phone so that she could follow the ringing and track it down.
Finding the phone
The 10-year-old finally had the means with which to call her father's cell, and she hoped against hope that he hadn't turned it onto silent mode. She pressed the call button and listened.
After a split second, there was success, and she could hear the jingle jangle of Jeff's phone coming from the next room. Grace raced in and grabbed her father's phone, dialing 911 and requesting an ambulance. All she could do now was sit and wait with her father for help to arrive.
Grace isn't alone
It would be easy to think that Grace is unique in this instance, but there are other stories of kids having to be brave like this for their parents.
Back in 2014, 10-year-old Brianna Vance was in her home in West Virginia as her father Greg sat relaxing on the porch outside. Suddenly there was a flash of lightning, and a clap of thunder, and the neighboring tree was hit by the lightning, causing it to begin to fall.
As the tree fell, it would cause further chaos as it plunged into the Vance's porch right in the spot where Greg had been sat.
The tree also destroyed all the cables running into the home as it came down, meaning Brianna was trapped inside with no working phone lines. She also had to contend with the fact that her father was trapped under a tree, and seemed to be pretty unresponsive. This must have been pretty scary for Brianna, and she certainly used her initiative to help.
A digital message
Quick-thinking Brianna realized that she still had access to the internet, and this would be her lifeline.
The 10-year-old quickly logged into Facebook and uploaded a viral video in which she detailed the events that had taken place, and made a plea with anyone who had signal to put in a call for help. It was an inspired move by the young girl, as just moments later she had police and fire services at the house assisting.
Thanks to Brianna's quick thinking, Greg was freed after about an hour and rushed to the hospital, where he was treated by the medical staff. Miraculously he only had a few broken bones, and he was able to walk away with no serious long-term injuries.
Had it not been for the actions of his daughter, it is very probable that Greg may have suffered a much more serious fate, and could have been trapped indefinitely. It's fair to suggest that Brianna saved her father's life.
Help for Jeff
Brianna's case was a little more straightforward, as it was obvious that her father needed emergency medical assistance right away. However, in the case of Jeff, it was less obvious, as he seemed to be unconscious for no apparent reason.
Grace was unsure what was happening or why her father was in this state. Fortunately, help arrived soon enough, and the paramedics were at Jeff's side doing their best to help him. Grace had successfully brought help to her father, and now she had to wait for the outcome.
Finding out the cause
In the case of what happened to Jeff, there is always a reason – something that triggers the event.
Paramedics carried out tests on Jeff, and it was discovered that his heartbeat was very low, beating at just 24 beats per minute (well under the average of 60-100). The only way to effectively assist Jeff further was to take him to the hospital, so he and Grace were bundled into the back of the ambulance and taken to the hospital right away.
One thing after another
There are a lot of things that can cause problems in the body, and often, these can be side-effects of other conditions. Indeed, in Jeff's case, it seems that he had been taking tablets for his blood pressure, and one of the side-effects of these tablets was a low heart rate.
However, doctors also suspected that there was something else at work too and that he may well have had a pre-existing neurological condition that led to his passing out. Until more tests were carried out, they couldn't give a definitive answer, however.
A proud mother
Kelly, who had been out during this whole ordeal, must have been beside herself when she found out what had happened. One thing is for sure, she was one proud mother, and was absolutely beaming about Grace and the way she reacted.
Sharing a post on social media, Kelly detailed her daughter's heroic actions, and how much the family loved one another. Well-wishers flocked to the post, sending their best and commending Grace for her quick thinking and action.
Great lessons for the future
Grace has learned a lot from this situation, and from having to look after her father. One of the biggest lessons she's taken away from all of this is making sure she always has her phone charged.
That way she will be able to call 911 instantly in the future! We're sure that Grace and her brother will be getting a rundown from Jeff and Kelly of exactly how to react in other emergencies in the future. Although we think that Grace has got it down now!
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