Officer nominates girl, 8, for county citizen award

Child called 911, directed medics to her home as mother suffered seizure

February 07, 2002|By Gerard Shields | Gerard Shields,SUN STAFF

At 4 feet 3 inches tall and 72 pounds, Kahpri Carter-Jones doesn't look the part of a heroine. Yet that's exactly the way the Baltimore County Police Department describes her.

A county officer has nominated the 8-year-old Randallstown girl for the county's Distinguished Citizen Award for saving the life of her mother, who had a diabetic seizure Jan. 28.

Kahpri called 911 and calmly directed medics to her home, winning the admiration of county emergency crews.

"In my seven years as a Baltimore County police officer, there has never been a juvenile that has displayed the maturity and exceptional judgment that Kahpri displayed," Officer Ricardo Hester wrote in his nominating letter.

The incident began about 6 a.m. Kahpri usually doesn't awaken until 7, but she heard her mother tending to her 9-month-old brother.

Shortly after, her mother collapsed and Kahpri took control. She tried to telephone her grandmothers, but neither of the two house phones was working, which sometimes happens on windy or rainy days, she said. She then went to the phone attached to the fax machine and made the calls.

Her grandparents instructed her to call 911, which she did. During the conversation, Kahpri relayed her mother's whereabouts and described her medical condition and history.

"She did exhibit the intelligence, confidence and demeanor of an adult," Hester wrote. "There was nothing about the household that she did not know."

That's because Kahpri has been taught how to deal with diabetes since she was a toddler, said her mother, Kahlila Jones. Kahpri was shown how to call 911 when she was 17 months old and once had to dial medics for her mother when she was 2.

She also knows how to test blood-sugar levels and recognize signs that blood sugar is low.

After dialing 911 the day of her mother's most recent incident, Kahpri ran in front of her house in the 9300 block of Edway Circle and waved her arms so emergency crews would know where she lived.

She led paramedics to her mother and gave them a complete medical history. She also retrieved her mother's medicines.

Kahpri also looked after her little brother, Allen, until her grandmothers arrived, she said.

"Despite such a stressful situation, Kahpri was amazingly calm and focused on helping her mother," wrote Hester, who arrived shortly after the paramedics.

Since the ordeal, Kahpri has been winning accolades for her actions. At Bedford Elementary School, where Kahpri is in the gifted and talented program in math and reading, school officials presented her with a certificate of heroism.

And her family continues to be proud.

"I'm always grateful because she is truly a blessing," her mother said. "We're all excited that she's getting recognition outside the family because we've recognized all that she's done."

Kahpri takes the praise in stride and can't see what all the fuss is about.

"It was not that exciting," she said. "It's normal."

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