A 7-year-old Chicago boy was honored on Friday for helping save his mother’s life by calling 911 while she was suffering a seizure.
Daniel Armani Johnson, who goes by D.J., was home with his mom, Tarissa Clark, on the night of May 30. He was quick to respond when he noticed that his mother was having a seizure, The Chicago Sun-Times reported.
D.J. remained calm while giving vital information to operators at the 911 center. The young boy even comforted his mother at the same time.
“I’ve been here for 18 years and handled thousands and thousands of calls, but this guy was a step ahead, especially for being so young,” said Chicago Fire Department Communications Officer Dianne Statts-Mareci.
“It’s key because all the information we ask is necessary to get the right kind of help,” she added.
Clark, 25, who lives with D.J. in Bronzeville, has suffered seizures all of her life. She starting teaching her son around the age of 4 what to do if she had a bad one.
“This was his first time ever doing it,” Clark said. “Usually it’s my mom or my sister who makes the call.”
After Statts-Mareci hung up with D.J., she spoke with a supervisor about recognizing the boy for his bravery.
“I went to my supervisor and I said, ‘Sometimes we get recognized for exemplary calls. How do we recognize the public? This little fella needs somebody to know how important what he did was,'” she said.
D.J., his mother, and several family members were invited to the Office of Emergency Management, where he was given a challenge coin, a certificate, his own plastic fire helmet, a backpack, a bike, and a LEGO fire truck.
They were also given a private tour of the 911 call center and got to hang out at a fire station in Bronzeville.
“When I heard what he did, I was like, Oh my God. For a young person to say all the things he said, to keep calm and help his mom, I mean it was quite something,” noted Annette Nance Holt, commissioner of the Chicago Fire Department.