Herlong girl saves mother’s life
Wednesday, March 9 — Most parents don’t expect their 5-year-old children to save their lives, but that’s exactly what happened to Herlong resident Michaela Beauchman and her daughter Rylie Pizzola.
Michaela, Rylie and 3-year-old son Dylan Pizzola were at their home on Susanville Road in Herlong at 4 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 11, when Beauchman suffered a debilitating, pain-induced seizure. The pain was severe enough to cause Beauchman to pass out.
“I have endometriosis on my ovaries that causes the pain,” Beauchman said. “It got so bad I lost control and actually blacked out.”
Luckily, Beauchman has a lifesaver for a daughter. Rylie Pizzola did what she had been taught and called 911, which linked her to the Herlong Volunteer Fire Department.
Department chief Grover White said when the call came into the station, his firefighters sprang into action as a first responder unit. However, he admitted his firefighters didn’t respond to the right address and drove right by Beauchman’s house. Beauchman said Rylie, who made her 3-year-old brother sit on the couch while her mother was down, saw the engine drive by the house. She called them back and told them they went past her house. When they arrived at the house, the firefighters were surprised to see a 5-year-old girl securing the family dog and bringing them into the house. After administering medical aide, an ambulance came by and took Beauchman to the hospital.
White said the same sort of incident happened at 2:55 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 20, when once again, Beauchman passed out from a pain induced seizure with just she and her children at the house. Rylie called 911 again and stayed with her mother until the fire department arrived. White said they were able to get to the house just fine the second time.
“You know for most kids, when they see they see a parent go down, it’s natural for them to panic,” White said. “Not for Rylie though. She seemed calm the entire time. She did some serious life saving. She had such charisma and was very helpful during the situation. I guess it goes to show you’re never too young to teach them how to call 911.”
Beauchman said since the incidents, she has started taking more precautions so she doesn’t have to worry her daughter.
“She’s so much like me,” Beauchman said. “She doesn’t shy away from the spotlight. She steps right up and takes charge. We tell her all the time how proud we are of her.”
Beauchman said she is feeling pretty good, and she is taking it easy right now. She said she is taking steps to prevent putting the children through another emergency situation. She said it helps that her cousin Kiana Yancy and her family are staying with her right now. As for her illness, she said she is having surgery on Wednesday, March 23, that will hopefully alleviate her health problems.
“We can’t thank the Herlong volunteers and the Mountain Life Flight crew enough either,” Beauchman said, “They were really on top of it, and the fire department stayed with my children while I was being taken to the hospital until my family could come and stay with them.”
The fire department also returned the sentiment by going back to her house and presenting Rylie with a stuffed pink unicorn and a Life Saver award plaque at 5:45 p.m. Wednesday, March 3. Rylie accepted the award graciously, but promptly told White she already had a pink unicorn.
White said while he was impressed with how strong willed Rylie was, the lesson in this tale is making sure children understand the proper way to use 911. He said it might be the difference between life and death in some circumstances.