Young Wal­dorf res­i­dent hon­ored for sav­ing mom’s life with one phone call

Maryland Independent - - Front Page - By TIF­FANY WAT­SON twat­son@somd­news.com

For 8-year-old A’Na­sia Clay­ton, one calm phone call to 911 would save her mother’s life.

On Sept. 27, Charles County com­mis­sion­ers rec­og­nized A’Na­sia, the 911 dis­patcher and Janée Clay­ton’s res­cu­ing per­son­nel with life­sav­ing awards dur­ing their meet­ing.

On Aug. 16, Janée Clay­ton of Wal­dorf be­gan show­ing signs of a stroke. Her daugh­ter calmly called 911 and ex­plained the sit­u­a­tion to com­mu­ni­ca­tions staff. With the as­sis­tance of A’Na­sia and emer­gency per­son­nel, Janée is alive and well to­day.

“I thought she was sick,” A’Na­sia said. “I was ner­vous but I was calm. I kept check­ing on Mommy, then check­ing out­side to see if the am­bu­lance was here yet.”

“Prior to her call­ing the am­bu­lance she looked at me and said my face was turn­ing to the side,” Janée said. “I felt it happening since the night be­fore. My daugh­ter said some­thing is not right with me. Then, as I was walk­ing down­stairs, I just lost all feel­ing on the left side of my body and could barely move. I slid all the way down the steps, A’Na­sia got a chair for me and I got from there to the couch. Then she said she’s go­ing to call 911.”

Janée said she does not re­mem­ber her daugh­ter’s con­ver­sa­tion with the dis­patcher, but it is one that Ron­ald Lu­cas won’t for­get.

“The first thing she said was, ‘I think my mom’s hav­ing a stroke,’” Lu­cas said. “Next we have to go through our pro­to­col and I re­al­ized this girl was sharper than any other adult that I’ve talked to. She re­ported ex­actly what was happening with her mom.”

Lu­cas said he used stroke di­ag­nos­tic tools, telling A’Na­sia to ask her mom to smile, hav­ing her ask her mom to raise her arms, and then hav­ing her mom say “the early bird catches the worm,” which was gar­bled. The phrase is re­ferred to as the Cincin­nati Pre-Hos­pi­tal Stroke Scale.

“She had clear ev­i­dence of a stroke,” Lu­cas said. “I could hear A’Na­sia talk­ing to her mom and I tried to calm her down, but she was keep­ing me more calm than I was keep­ing her. Once the am­bu­lance got there, I let her talk to the am­bu­lance [crew]. They took her mother as pri­or­ity one, which is a truly life-threat­en­ing emer­gency, to the hos­pi­tal.”

The EMTs first took Janée to Univer­sity of Mary­land Charles Re­gional Med­i­cal Cen­ter in La Plata be­fore she was trans­ported to MedS­tar Ge­orge­town Univer­sity Hos­pi­tal for treat­ment.

In 2006, Janée was di­ag­nosed with Bell’s palsy, a paral­y­sis or weak­ness of the mus­cles on one side of the face. The dam­age to the fa­cial nerve con­trol­ling mus­cles on one side of the face causes that side to droop. This con­di­tion comes on sud­denly — of­ten overnight — and usu­ally gets bet­ter on its own within a few weeks. Be­cause of her pre­vi­ous case of Bell’s palsy, Janée said she taught her daugh­ter the symp­toms of a stroke in case it ever hap­pened. How­ever, Janée said she knew it couldn’t be the same di­ag­no­sis.

“My headache be­came more painful than it was when I had Bell’s palsy,” Janée said. “My hand numbed up and balled into a fist. I knew it was some­thing more but I couldn’t even say it.”

Janée said the first time she heard the record­ing of her daugh­ter speak­ing with the dis­patcher was just a few weeks ago, while watch­ing her own story on the news.

“My eyes filled with tears when I heard it,” Janée said. “I couldn’t be­lieve that she did such an amaz­ing job. I was su­per proud of her af­ter I heard it. I couldn’t do noth­ing else but sit there, hug her and kiss her. I taught her to be aware of her sur­round­ings so that if any­thing hap­pens to her, she knows how to do to find her way to safety. And she’s al­ways been the type of child that is will­ing to help some­body.”

“Her mother prob­a­bly could have be­come per­ma­nently par­a­lyzed,” Lu­cas said. “As se­vere as her stroke was, she prob­a­bly could have died so she re­ally saved her mom’s life. She was so sharp, keen and im­pres­sive.”

Janée said she has been feel­ing a lit­tle bit bet­ter ev­ery day with the help of her daugh­ter.

“Ev­ery­one said I was brave,” A’Na­sia said.

A’Na­sia was ex­cited to meet the Charles County com­mis­sion­ers and be rec­og­nized for her life­sav­ing ef­forts. She re­ceived a stand­ing ova­tion from the crowd af­ter the com­mis­sion­ers shared her story.

Ac­cord­ing to Charles County Depart­ment of Emer­gency Ser­vices, A’Na­sia has in­spired the for­ma­tion of an in-school teach­ing pro­gram of 911 pro­to­col and are pe­ti­tion­ing the Mary­land Emer­gency Num­bers Sys­tems Board for fund­ing to pur­chase a 911 sim­u­la­tor. The depart­ment be­lieves it would take away the ini­tial fear of a child call­ing 911 and more chil­dren would be able to prac­tice what to do in an emer­gency sit­u­a­tion.

STAFF PHOTO BY TIF­FANY WAT­SON

A’Na­sia Clay­ton, 8, dis­patcher Ron­ald Lu­cas, left, and para­medic Paul Len­harr were rec­og­nized by the Charles County com­mis­sion­ers at the Charles County Gov­ern­ment build­ing with life­sav­ing awards on Sept. 27. Janée Clay­ton, cen­ter, stands with her daugh­ter.

STAFF PHOTO BY TIF­FANY WAT­SON

On Sept. 27, Wal­dorf res­i­dent Janée Clay­ton stands with her daugh­ter, A’Na­sia Clay­ton, 8, who called 911 and ex­plained her mother’s sus­pected stroke to dis­patcher Ron­ald Lu­cas, right, at the Charles County Gov­ern­ment Build­ing.

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