----Source: Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon, Source: The Thorp Courier (Thorp, WI) February 22, 2006
Transcribed by Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon
On Friday, February 17, 2006, six year old Hunter Kaiser (boy with Teddy Bear) and his mother, Lisa (behind Hunter), met with Sheriff Louis Rosandich (left) and the EMT’s who responded to a February 2 medical emergency call—one that because of Hunter’s courage, calmness, and knowledge of 9-1-1 saved his mother from possible death. Hunter has been nominated by the Clark County Sheriff’s Department for a heroism award through the Wisconsin Sheriffs and Deputy Sheriffs Association.
Six-Year-Old Thorp Boy Saves Mom
The time was 4:02 p.m., and a small, scratchy, but calm voice came over the line. "Clark County Emergency 9-1-1 Dispatch," the female voice responded. "Nobody’s here ‘cept my mom, and she just goes ehhhhhhh," the little voice said.
Although it took Dispatcher Louise Hackel a few seconds to understand the young caller when he dialed Clark County’s 9-1-1 line Thursday, February 2, she quickly knew that this was a different sort of call, one with which she needed to take special care. This was, in fact, six-year-old Hunter Kaiser, a kindergarten student at Thorp Elementary School and son of Michael and Lisa Kaiser of rural Thorp, and he was indeed calling with an emergency.
"It’s my mom," Hunter told Deputy Hackel. "I shake her, but she won’t wake up." Again, he replicated the moaning his mother was making as she laid (layed) still on the living room floor next to the couch. "I can’t give her a Mountain Dew because she’s laying (lying) on the floor and won’t wake up," he informed the dispatcher, giving her a vital clue that something was seriously wrong with Mom and it could be related to diabetes.
Deputy Hackel continued to pull bits and pieces of essential information from Hunter’s perspective as he came off the bus after school to find his mother in a diabetic coma and unresponsive—that she was still warm and that she took shots and needed sugar sometimes. "But," Hunter explained, still calm, "I don’t know how to test her blood." Hackel began working the other end of the emergency call as she kept Hunter on the line; she had her partner dispatch the closest deputy, who just happened to be Thorp’s Scott Strzok, an experienced officer who is coincidentally an EMT for Thorp Ambulance and had just checked in from his home moments away.
As Deputy Strzok sped to the Kaiser home, dispatch called upon the services of the Thorp Ambulance volunteers—this time, EMT’s Kert Boie and Dan Schultze and driver Theresa Anderson. Strzok arrived nine minutes after Hunter first dialed 9-1-1, with Deputy Hackel preparing the child that it was safe to open the door for the police officer. Indeed, Mom was laying (lying) unresponsive on the floor. EMT’s came in the door four minutes later, finding a calm child ready to answer questions.
Lisa Kaiser’s blood sugar was dangerously low, and Boie and Schultze immediately prepared a glucagons shot, something they had ironically just reviewed at their final EMT refresher class three days before. "It made the whole month worthwhile," Boie later smiled, admitting the fact that EMT’s have to take many hours out of their free time to keep up with skills. Ones like glucagons administration are rarely used yet, as this case proved, can be lifesaving.
"As soon as we walked in the door, Hunter had the phone in his hand and he showed me right where the 9-1-1 sticker was," Boie added. "He was watching us, intent, the whole time and was very calm. I was shocked to find out he was only six years old."
Hunter watched as EMT’s did their job, giving his mother the medication her body craved and preparing for the ensuing trip to the hospital. As Theresa helped him get situated in the front seat, Boie and Schultze loaded Lisa into the back of the ambulance. Theresa switched on the lights and siren as Hunter helped tell the driver where to turn. At the hospital, the attending doctor told Hunter that he saved his mom’s live by calling 9-1-1 when he did.
On Friday, February 17, 2006, Clark County Sheriff Louis Rosandich presented Hunter Kaiser with a special teddy bear whom Hunter promptly named after himself, Hunter Michael Kaiser—a bear anonymously donated by an anonymous friend of the Sheriff’s department who has since passed away. "He wanted his bear collection to go for children who have gone through a traumatic experience like this one" Rosandich explained, obviously touched by Hunter’s bravery. "When you listen to the call, it’s just fantastic," he adds, "You hear that he knew what to do." Rosandich, along with his deputies and staff at the Clark County Sheriff’s Department, have nominated Hunter Kaiser for the Wisconsin Sheriffs and Deputy Sheriffs Association’s yearly heroism award. "We feel our nomination—for this award is a good honor for Hunter," the sheriff explained, shaking the child’s little hand.
Meanwhile, Lisa Kaiser sits protectively nearby her young son, understanding full well that he saved her life with his knowledge of 9-1-1 and is deserving of all this new attention. "With me being a diabetic," she says, "you never know what’s going to happen. I didn’t want Hunter to find me, be afraid, and run upstairs and hide." Therefore, Lisa and Michael showed Hunter how to dial 9-1-1 and have 9-1-1 stickers placed strategically near their telephones. "He’s pretty smart and I knew it, but I was still surprised that he knew that he needed to call when he saw me."
Deputy Hackel, whom Hunter got to visit on his day off school Monday, February 20, says he’s the youngest child she has ever talked to on the emergency line. "It took me a little bit to shift gears and figure out that this was a young child calling with a medical emergency for a parent," she said. "It’s usually the other way around."
Hackel, too, should be commended for her proficiency on the job. She kept a situation calm that could have gotten out of hand. She managed to gather from the child his mother’s condition without ever making him afraid that Lisa could be near death, or worse. Together that day, coupled with the response of Deputy Strzok and the volunteers from Thorp Ambulance, they made quite the life-saving team. As Deputy Hackel said when it was all over, "This was an exceptional case. Everything worked out the way it should."
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