Children are capable of more than we think. They grasp information quickly and learn by observation.
Recently, a 4-year-old boy from Big Lake, Minnesota was recognized with the Sherburne County Sheriff’s Office Life Saving Award.
The Prompt Action a 4-Year-Old Took When He Saw His Mom in Pain
Mother of 3, Rachel Milless, was home with her sons while battling the flu last November. Rachel, a registered nurse, knew she was sick enough to admit herself to the emergency room. As she was getting ready to drop her kids off at her sister’s house and drive to the hospital, she had a coughing attack.
“I felt like I was breathing through a straw and it was terrifying,” Rachel said, “And then eventually I just didn’t feel like I was breathing well at all.” Rachel suffers from asthma and has a nebulizer at home to help her breathe.
While trying to reach her nebulizer, Rachel collapsed on the kitchen floor. At this moment, her 4-year-old son Asher stepped into a laser focus to help his mom. “He just instinctively brought the nebulizer over and plugged it in and hooked it up and put all the meds in it,” Rachel said. “He held it to my face and said, ‘Just breathe, mom,’ and was practicing with me.”
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As this is already impressive, Rachel mentioned that she and her husband Tyler had never shown Asher how to use the nebulizer. He was able to use it from memory of watching his mom put the machine into action.
The next thing Asher did was grab his mom’s phone and hold down the side button. When Siri opened, he said “Call daddy.” The phone dialled Rachel’s father who alerted other family members of the situation and called 911.
Shortly after, Asher’s dad Tyler was able to reach his son. He stayed on the phone with him until first responders arrived. “Asher said, ‘Mommy needs help … she’s on the floor,’ and then it was just a matter of continuously asking him questions,” Tyler recalled. “My biggest struggle was trying to ask him if she was breathing but not that direct with him because I didn’t want to scare him.”
How One Little Boy’s Observational Learning Saved His Mom’s Life
Tyler prompted his son to unlock the front door so that first responders could come in quickly. Asher did that, as well as give his younger siblings snacks and toys to distract them from the situation.
Rachel was transported to a nearby hospital for treatment. During her recovery, doctors told her, “Your 4-year-old saved your life.” All of the responders were extremely impressed with Asher’s ability to stabilize his mom and alert authorities. “They said if I would have waited any longer I would have been very sick and I wouldn’t be alive today,” Rachel said. “So I owe it all to this little guy, who is my guardian angel. Without him, I probably wouldn’t be here.”
This past February, the Sherburne County Sheriff’s Office recongnized Asher with its Life Saving Award. He is the youngest ever recipient of the award. Rachel and Tyler are still in disbelief that Asher was able to stay so calm when he needed to. “It just amazes me because he’s a wild 4-year-old,” Tyler said. “He’s all over the place all the time, but in that moment he knew that mom needed help and he needed to be calm.”
Through a scary incident, Rachel and Tyler learned to never underestimate the ability that kids can have. They learn from watching their parents. Asher’s curiosity and observational learning saved his mom’s life.