Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Girl with CP saves mom's life

From WNDU-TV in South Bend, Ind.:

It's a story a Michiana mom didn't think she would live to tell.

Fourteen-year-old Katie, (pictured) who has cerebral palsy, saved her mom's life after she suffered several seizures Jan. 23.

Theresa Johnson says that she can normally sense when she's about to have a seizure and usually has time to call her husband for help. This time, it happened without warning.

"I got real light-headed," she recalls.

Theresa was outside trying to clear an icy walkway. She managed to get Katie inside, but then began to have a seizure.

You can still see where she was lying in the snow in front of their home.

"I'm thinking, from the time I went out there, I was out in the snow bank for about 20 minutes," Theresa explains.

She woke up and made her way to the door. Then, there was the first of many miraculous moves by Katie.

"She was locked up against that back door, and I kept saying, 'Katie, you gotta move, you gotta move,' and she finally turned the door knob," Theresa remembers.

Then, Theresa passed out again, and Katie made her second power move.

"I wouldn't be sitting here right now. She kept saying, 'Mommy, don't die, don't die.' She was trying to pick me up, but she was picking me up by the hair on my head, so she could pick me up off the floor," Theresa recalls with a smile.

Theresa says she remembers asking Katie for the phone, but she wouldn't hand it over.

"The reason she wouldn't give me the phone was because she was taking care of that," Theresa proudly explains.

Katie dialed 911 and hung up. When police called back, she screamed. The dispatcher quickly sent emergency crews.

"They couldn't get in the door either, so Katie was helping them."

And Katie was determined to help her mother.

"I'm quite bruised up all over; my thighs are bruised. She drove over me trying to help," Theresa explains.

But she says every ache and pain is worth the pride she feels knowing that her daughter behaved in a way she never thought possible.

"I believe God takes care of us when we least expect it," Theresa says.

The Johnsons also give credit to Katie's sixth grade teacher, Mrs. Fran Nyikos. They say Katie made significant strides last year in her class, where she learned how to respond in emergency situations.