‘Mommy won’t wake up;’ 911 call saves girl, 4, mom

Sun Sentinel Palm Beach Edition - - FRONT PAGE - By Linda Trischitta | Staff writer

All a 4-year-old girl wanted was to go to school. In­stead, she was found sob­bing in a van while her mother was un­con­scious from a sus­pected over­dose, ac­cord­ing to Boca Ra­ton po­lice.

A pass­ing stranger saw the dis­tressed child and called 911.

“I don’t know if she is sleep­ing … but one baby girl is here and she’s cry­ing and she wants to go to school, she told me,” Andres Rivera told the dis­patcher. “The baby, she told me call the po­lice.”

Colleen Jezrel Nichols, 30, of Boca Ra­ton, was ar­rested on sus­pi­cion of com­mit­ting child ne­glect. Where the in­ci­dent hap­pened is not pro­vided on the po­lice re­port. Rivera saw mother and child in an un­locked, brown Chevro­let van about 8:40 a.m. Mon­day.

After Rivera called 911, at the dis­patcher’s re­quest he gave the phone to the girl and she an­swered a se­ries of ques­tions.

“I tried to wake mommy up and, um, she wouldn’t wake up,” the child told the dis­patcher in an edited record­ing po­lice re­leased Wed­nes­day. Her mother is a nurse and her fa­ther works at a casino, the child said. Her fa­ther was at home and was go­ing to pick her up from school.

When asked if this has hap­pened to her mother be­fore, the child said, “No. Last night she fell asleep, and again and again, over and over and over … I don’t know what hap­pened to her.”

As sirens can be heard in the dis­tance on the au­dio record­ing, the dis­patcher talked with the child while they waited for fire­fight­ers and paramedics to ar­rive.

“I grad­u­ate al­ready,” the girl proudly says. “I’m al­most 5. I’m four-and-ahalf.”

The dis­patcher tells her the fire­fight­ers will help her mother.

“They’re com­ing,” she said. “I can see them.”

When the dis­patcher tells the girl she’s “do­ing great,” she says, “Yeah” and then, “I al­ready lost my one tooth … the bot­tom … in the mid­dle.”

The tooth fairy left her “a lucky penny,” she re­ported.

Be­fore they hang up, the dis­patcher tells her, “Good job, baby!” and thanks Rivera, the caller, too.

Paramedics gave Nar­can to Nichols, and she re­sponded pos­i­tively. The agency ad­min­is­ters to pa­tients in “life-threat­en­ing, drug over­dose sit­u­a­tions,” “to re­verse the ef­fects of opi­ates like heroin,” the po­lice re­port said.

Nichols de­nied us­ing heroin. While she was in an am­bu­lance, a po­lice of­fi­cer asked if she knew where her daugh­ter was and she said, “I don’t know, I must have blacked out, I’m un­der a lot of stress,” ac­cord­ing to the re­port.

Nichols was taken to Boca Ra­ton Re­gional Hos­pi­tal to be ex­am­ined be­fore she was taken into cus­tody.

The Florida Depart­ment of Chil­dren and Fam­i­lies is in­ves­ti­gat­ing the in­ci­dent and a spokes­woman said the girl is with her fam­ily.

Palm Beach County Judge Dina Keever on Tues­day or­dered Nichols to not have con­tact with her daugh­ter and to not have weapons or use al­co­hol, il­le­gal drugs or pre­scrip­tion med­i­ca­tions. She must also un­dergo ran­dom test­ing, court records show.

Nichols was freed Tues­day from a Palm Beach County jail on $1,000 bond. Her as­sis­tant pub­lic de­fender could not be reached for com­ment.

“I tried to wake mommy up and, um, she wouldn’t wake up.” Girl, 4, to 911 dis­patcher


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