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I would like to tell you a story about my brave little niece, Amanda Leigh Stansbury, who is 10 years old and saved the life of my sister (her mother), Paula Stansbury, on Feb. 9 by calling 911. There really should be some kind of training or practice in school for these children or a little practice because no matter how much they know their telephone number and address, when it comes to an emergency and they are scared all that goes out the window.

On Feb. 9, Amanda was asleep beside her mother when all of a sudden her mother shook her awake. Amanda was startled and jumped out of bed. “What’s wrong, Mom?”, she yelled. Her mother signaled to her that she couldn’t breathe. Amanda ran to the phone and dialed 911.

The operator asked what the emergency was and she explained that her mother could not breathe. The operator asked where she lived. Amanda said, “We live on Xavier Lane.”

The operator asked, “Do you have a house number?”

Amanda said “No.”The operator said, “So you see a piece of mail laying around?”

Amanda said, “No.”The operator said, “That’s fine. Is there any other adult in the home with you now?”

Amanda said, “No, my grandmother took my brother to school and my dad’s at work.”

The operator asked Amanda how old she was and she told her that she was 10. The operator then asked Amanda, “What’s your mother doing now; is she awake?”

Amanda said, “Yes, she’s awake and she’s trying to breathe but she can’t. Please hurry.”

By that time my mother, Amanda’s grandmother, Margaret Deal, came back from dropping Amanda’s brother off at school. Amanda ran out to the kitchen to tell her grandmother, “Mommy can’t breathe! I’m on the phone with 911 and they want to know how to get here.”

Her grandmother took over with 911 and did not know the house number either. But thankfully they knew the address because they have been there before.

Amanda’s grandmother was trying her best to keep her daughter awake because at this time Paula was losing consciousness. She was holding Paula’s head and gently shaking, rubbing Paula and telling her to hold on, don’t fall asleep, help is on the way and to fight for her life because she had two kids who need her.

Amanda was holding her mother’s hand, and running back and forth to the front door looking for the ambulance while trying to get her father on the cell phone at work. Amanda had never seen anything so scary in her life before. She was not sure if her mother was going to live or die. She was a very frightened little girl at that point and this was a bad dream to her that she just wanted to wake up from.

When the ambulance arrived, Paula was comatose. Paula had a heart attack and suffers from COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) and congestive heart failure.

The ambulance driver told Amanda’s mother that they offer CPR classes for children her age and they are checking for the next available class plus other classes that might benefit. Amanda Leigh Stansbury is one amazing young lady and never ceases to amaze me.

My sister is alive today for the smart thinking of brave little girl who jumped into action by calling 911. Not to mention the calm voice on the other line of 911 and the Mechanicsville Volunteer Rescue Squad.

Janice Blackistone, Leonardtown