The quick thinking of a 5-year-old girl saved her mother's
life in Nesconset last Monday.
Jillian Given, a kindergartener at Cherokee Street Elementary School, made an alarming 911 call at 6:30 a.m. on Sept. 16.
"Hello, my mom is diabetic... she just puked... " Jillian says on the 911 recording. "My mom is passed out."
James Hudson, an overnight dispatcher for the Smithtown Fire District, said he immediately recognized by Jillian's voice how young she was.
"She was very young, but she knew exactly what to say. She knew to say her mother had diabetes which was key information for first responders," Hudson said.
Elisabeth Given, Jillian's mother, said she taught her daughter how to dial 911, about diabetes, and went over important phone numbers and addresses in case of an emergency, but hoped it would never be necessary.
Given and her daughter had stayed overnight at Jillian's grandparents house in Nesconset while dogsitting a blind Golden Retriever while they were on a trip to upstate New York. When Jillian went to check on Elisabeth that morning, she was unconscious and fell out of bed.
"She said 'help me'," Jillian said.
Jillian, admittedly frightened, said she tried to offer her mother orange juice, then attempted to call her father who had stayed at the family's Ronkonkoma home before calling 911.
"I tried to call my dad, but I think he’s sleeping," she told 911 dispatchers.
Hudson walked Jillian through checking her mother's breathing and unlocking the front door to the home, while Suffolk Police dispatcher Joan Duboski stayed on the line until police responded.
However, Jillian then told Hudson there was not one, but three Golden Retrievers in the home. She said "they're friendly," gave the dogs biscuits and put them out of the house to aid responders.
"She was absolutely amazing," said John Martins, Third Assistant Chief of the Nesconset Fire Department, calling it a 'heroic' effort.
Elisabeth Givens was treated by first responders on the scene, although later made a trip to Stony Brook University Hospital for head injury sustained when she fell from the bed. She has made a full recovery.
Hudson encouraged other parents to learn a lesson from the Given family in being prepared for an emergency.
"If you have any pertinent medical information that will help first responders, tell your children that. In the worse case situation, teach your child how to call 911 and what to say," Hudson said.