'Momma, you're OK:' 7-year-old Benicia girl calls 911 to save her mother
BENICIA, Calif. (KTVU) - It doesn't take a lot to make 7-year-old Laura Dinsdale smile.
We sat down with her in the kitchen of her Benicia home and she got out some pens and paper telling us, "I'm in second grade and I like to draw."
She's a busy little girl with lots of animals at home to take care of and because both of her moms are vet technicians.
But one night several weeks ago, Laura stepped up to do even more. She and her mom, Julie, were home. Her mom, Heather, was at work. "We were watching a show on the television and then she just started to have a seizure."
Her mom wasn't responding to Laura, and so the girl didn't hesitate saying "I thought about the phone first to call 9-1-1."
Veteran dispatcher Michelle Foley answered the call saying, "It was early in the shift, I work night shift so I had just started, I could tell right away it was a little girl." But Foley says this call among so many others she has taken over the last 21 years was different. She says Laura was calmer than most adults and somehow knew exactly what to do.
"It was as if somebody already told her if this happens this is what you should do." says Foley.
Here are some excerpts of the beginning of that call.
Dispatcher: 9-1-1 what's your emergency?
Laura: My mom is having a seizure.
Dispatcher: OK, what's your address?
Dispatcher: Has she ever had a seizure before?
Laura: Yeah two or three yeah actually three ---
Dispatcher: She has okay, okay . You are going stay on the phone with me until I get the fire department over there. What's your name, sweets?
Laura: Okay my name is Laura --
Dispatcher: Is she breathing?
Laura: Momma, you're okay, yes.
Dispatcher: Yes, is okay.
Laura: She's just shaking a lot.
Dispatcher: Okay, I know that's scary.
Foley says Laura "knew exactly what she was doing she knew everything she knew her name her mom's name she knew to put her dog away."
Laura: Beans c'mon beans
Dispatcher: Okay don't hang up with me
Laura: I'm going to put my dog away
Dispatcher: Okay stay on the phone with me
Laura: I know k Beans come
Beans is the family's border collie who doesn't take well to visitors. Her mom, Heather, explained, "She's very protective of us and she (Laura) knew to put her out because people were coming in." Through the call, Laura stayed calm and put her mom first.
Laura: Momma you're okay momma I'm Laura I'm your daughter Momma you are at the house we were watching Bob's Burgers, Momma. Momma, you're okay you know who I am I'm your daughter the cops are coming. They're are coming so you can go to the hospital Mama okay you just had a seizure.
Foley says "listening to her talk to her mom, it was the most it just got to me, it just broke my heart, I was just like wow you could hear it in her voice the love was there it was amazing."
Firefighters came, and even though they initially went to the house next door, Laura guided them in. They got Julie in the ambulance and when they called Julie's wife Heather to fill her in everything was under control.
"Normally I would have thought she would have called me and said hey this happened what do I do (but) She handled that I was like man you handled that," laughs Heather.
Julie is now back home and since that day Laura has gotten some attention. Thanks in part to the dispatcher who heard it all. "When I hung up the phone and I turned to my partner and I said oh my god you have to hear this call," says Foley
Her partner listened and then the Benicia Police Chief Erik Upson heard it. He went to her school to present her with an award for her great work.
Benicia Fire Chief Josh Chadwick summed up the reaction from everyone, "Good job excellent job we are proud of you."
As for Laura, well she knows it's possible that her mom could have another seizure. But she told me she's not worried saying, "I got it covered". We are pretty sure she does.