A 12-year-old girl is being honored for her heroism after she took swift action to park her family’s car and get help while her mom had a seizure.
Melaniah Andrade of Wasilla, Alaska noticed that her mother Nicole Johnson was acting strangely during a shopping trip to Target. As she told Yahoo Lifestyle: “She kept staring at nothing and wasn’t really talking to me.”
When her mother then began driving erratically as they left the parking lot, varying her speed from 60 to 20 mph, and calling her own daughter “Mom,” Melaniah called 911.
After telling the 911 operator where her and her mom were, Melaniah took action to prevent a dangerous crash.
According to Yahoo:
“Melaniah turned on the hazard lights, as instructed by the operator, and Johnson turned onto a dead end street, accelerating toward a tree. The car then hit a patch of grass and Melaniah removed her mother’s foot from the pedal, putting the car into park and removing the keys from the ignition.”
According to Yahoo Johnson was suffering a loss of consciousness that’s known as an “absence seizure” which Johnson says is the result of breast cancer that has spread to her brain. She told Yahoo she was “on autopilot and not processing anything” during the incident.
In a Facebook post the Alaska State Troopers stated that Melaniah’s actions may have saved her and her mother’s life.
“Melaniah likely saved her mother’s life, her own life and possibly the lives of other people on the road, when she called 911 while her mother, who was driving, was having a medical emergency last week. Melaniah’s bravery and ability to remain calm during the emergency ultimately led to her disabling the car in a safe manner […]”
The award honored the brave girl’s “outstanding efforts” in “preventing a potential tragedy.”
Speaking about her daughter, Johnson told Yahoo: “When I heard the 911 recording, I grasped how amazing Melaniah was in the situation.”