‘She can’t move’: Polk Co. 6-year old with autism receives 911 Hero award for getting help for mother

Polk County

POLK COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – When her mother fell to the floor in pain, a Polk County first-grader sprang into action. For that, she’s being called a “911 hero.”

“I didn’t think she would have the bravery to go help and come back and say ‘Mommy, it’s OK. Don’t cry,’” the girl’s mother, Angela Lopez, said.

In early November, Lopez was home alone with her daughter, 6-year-old Esperanza, in Frostproof putting together a china cabinet. She was standing on a five-foot ladder, until she wasn’t.

“My mommy fell off a ladder,” Esperanza Lopez said to a 911 dispatcher. “She can’t move. I don’t know why.”

With confidence and without hesitation, Esperanza, who has autism and ADHD, communicated her mother’s needs and their address until help arrived.

“We could hear the ambulance coming and she was like ‘Mommy, it’s OK. Don’t cry. Help is coming,’” said her mother.

Angela Lopez has underlying medical conditions so she taught her young daughter how to call 911.

“Thank you so much for being my hero,” Angela Lopez said to her daughter with a hug.

It’s a lesson Polk County Fire Rescue shared with Esperanza’s classmates at Spook Hill Elementary Wednesday.

“What’s that number?” asked Rosa LaLonde, Polk Fire Rescue public education manager.

“911!” the first graders exclaimed.

Esperanza was awarded Polk County Fire Rescue’s “911 Award.”

“We use the terms like bravery and hero and certainly this young lady standing next to me is showing some of that. It shows the importance of parents teaching their kids 911 and how to interact when you have an emergency,” said Polk County Fire Rescue Chief Robert Weech.

Parents are advised to teach their children not only the number 911 but remind them of their full names and addresses.

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