A young Cumberland County boy is being hailed a hero after he saved his mother’s life.
Back on the morning of Jan. 19, Debbie Ford suffered a severe asthma attack in her Commercial Township home. With her husband away at work, Debbie’s son Frankie Ford Jr. sprang into action.
The 6-year-old boy picked up the phone and dialed 911.
“Please… my mom’s dying,” cried Frankie as he spoke with the operator.
The boy even asked the operator about doing chest compressions.
“I got pump for you?” asked Frankie. “My mom, for you? My mom, my hands on her heart.”
As Frankie continued to speak, the operator was able to hear Debbie in the background, gasping for air and mumbling the family’s address. Frankie stayed on the line as emergency crews rushed to their home.
“I went for quite a bit of time without oxygen to the brain,” said Debbie.
When EMTs arrived, Debbie was on her bed in respiratory arrest, not breathing but still with a pulse.
“I was terrified,” said EMT Veronica Trio. “I was really afraid that she was not going to make it. A couple more minutes and she would have gone into cardiac arrest.”
Frankie says he learned in his first grade class that kids who dialed 911 in an emergency would get a prize. He received a Hero’s Plaque from Laurel Lake Emergency Responders as well as a blue BMX mongoose bike. But thanks to his courageous actions, he also received the greatest gift of all: his mother’s life.
“It takes a tough little kid and a brave little kid to pick up the phone, call 911 and not panic,” said Trio.
“He’s my little hero,” said Debbie, who has since recovered. “I wouldn’t be here right now if it wasn’t for him.”