Calling 9-1-1 might be one of the most miserable experiences out there. There’s an emergency going on, someone needs help, and onlookers — if there are any — are totally frantic. Try keeping a cool head through that.
Well, when a Midwestern felt a sudden pain in his chest, he reached for his phone, ready to go through the dreaded call himself. When he couldn’t go through with it, an unlikely hero picked up the phone for him — and led the 9-1-1 operator through the most bizarre call he’d ever been a part of!
One night, Frank Hensley and his daughter Savannah were enjoying some quiet time at home. Neither of them had any idea that tragedy was about to disrupt their peaceful evening.
Frank was reading Savannah a bedtime story when he felt a sudden pain in his chest. Soon his breathing became labored. He immediately knew something was wrong.
These, Frank knew, were the symptoms and signs of a heart attack. Trying not to panic his daughter, he rushed to the nearest phone to dial 911. Losing consciousness, he felt his fingers clumsily press the right buttons.
Before anyone could answer, Frank fainted. He fell to the ground, and the phone landed alongside his body. Luckily, he had a guardian angel looking out for him that night.
Young Savannah wasn’t exactly sure what was happening, but she knew something was wrong. She picked up the phone from near her father’s body and heard a voice on the other end of the line.
The emergency dispatcher had picked up and asked what the emergency was. Savannah wasn’t sure what to say, but she found the words she needed with remarkable poise.
“My dad can’t hardly breathe,” she explained. And while dispatcher Jason Bonham knew that meant there was a serious problem, he had to follow the standard call procedure before going any further.
He could tell Savannah was a child, but he had to ask her name and age. When she said she had recently celebrated her fifth birthday, Bonham couldn’t believe his ears.
“Most people when you talk to them, they’re hysterical,” he said after the phone call that would become legend. “Every time I’ve listened to it, it’s amazing. She’s just a little person.”
After confirming Savannah’s age, Bonham dispatched an ambulance to the house. He remained on the line, however, to make sure everything remained stable. Then he asked an important question.
He needed to know if the door was unlocked so that the paramedics could make it inside the house. It wasn’t, but Savannah quickly rectified the situation. She had another problem, though…
She was concerned that she and her dad were wearing their pajamas; that wasn’t acceptable attire if guests were coming over! She said she was going to quickly change her clothes.
Thankfully, Bonham convinced her the visitors wouldn’t care what she was wearing; staying by her dad was more important. That worked for Savannah, who then moved on to another concern she wanted to share with investigators.
There was also a dog in the house named Lou Lou, Savannah revealed. The dispatcher paused for a moment; this could be a hiccup if the pooch could cause a problem when the EMS team showed up at the door.
Well, Savannah put him at ease when she said that Lou Lou only “kind of barks.” For Bonham, that was a good enough endorsement of the pup’s behavior. Hopefully, the ambulance would arrive soon and avoid any issues.
Reality was beginning to set in, however. After maintaining her composure for the entire call, Savannah was finally starting to crack. The operator could hear it in her voice. How much longer could her dad hold on?
“He looks like he’s real shaky,” she told Bonham. “He really needs oxygen, real fast.” At this point, all the dispatcher could do was reassure Savannah and pray the ambulance arrived soon.
Thankfully, paramedics arrived and rushed into the house. Their presence also meant Savannah could hang up the phone. Bonham hoped that her father would make it.
Johnson City Press
They found that Frank wasn’t actually having a heart attack. While he was suffering from chest pains and having difficulty breathing, he was only having a severe allergic reaction. It was dangerous, but it could have been worse.
Savannah’s quick thinking and cool head saved her father’s life; she proved that heroes can come in all shapes and sizes. If anyone doubted that, she could point them towards an even small hero from Stockton, California.
When Nana Chaichanhda of Stockton brought a baby pit bull named Sasha into her home, she initially had reservations. With her seven-month-old daughter Masailah also in the house, Nana was nervous about how the dog would behave around her baby girl.
aree rodriguez / Flickr
But Nana was convinced that, with the proper training, Sasha would grow to be the perfect playmate for Masailah. As it turns out, Nana’s intuition was completely right.
With each passing day, the bond between Sasha and Masailah grew until the two became inseparable. In fact, Sasha was so protective of Masailah that the dog wouldn’t even let her take a bubble bath alone!
Now that Sasha had officially become part of the family, it wasn’t uncommon to find her snuggled up in bed alongside Nana and Masailah. But one fateful night, Nana decided to do things differently…
On June 6, 2018, Nana decided to let Sasha sleep outside in the backyard. Being that it was a warm summer’s night, Nana figured that the dog would enjoy getting out of the stuffy apartment and into the fresh air.
Soon after putting Sasha outside, Nana took Masailah to their bedroom and the pair was asleep within minutes. But it wasn’t long before Nana was stirred awake by an unexpected sound: a dog barking.
Erika B. / Flickr
At first, Nana wrote off the barking as that of a neighbor’s dog. After all, Sasha had never been one to bark, especially as loud as the dog outside.
But as the frantic barking continued, Nana knew that something was wrong. She hurried downstairs and threw open the back door, where her fears were confirmed.
Even when she was back inside the house, Sasha still wouldn’t calm down. It was like she was desperate to get Nana’s attention at all costs! When that didn’t work, Sasha tried another tactic…
Suddenly, the dog made a mad dash for the upstairs bedroom where Masailah was still sleeping. But before Nana could chase after her, the sight of something outside stopped her in her tracks.
To Nana’s horror, large flames were spewing out of the apartment complex next door. Worse yet, the blaze was quickly spreading toward her own unit!
Before she could even think, the fire had now reached her apartment complex and was growing rapidly. With only moments to spare, Nana rushed upstairs to save Sasha and Masailah.
When she reached the bedroom, Nana was stunned at what she found. Not only was Sasha completely calm in the face of such great danger, but she was trying to save Masailah as well!
Gripping the infant by her diaper, Sasha had managed to pull Masailah out of her crib and was carefully trying to drag her out of the room. Nana grabbed Sasha and the baby and dashed out of the apartment.
As soon as Nana and her family had safely left the building, she called 911. The fire department arrived within minutes, and after rescuing the remaining tenants in the apartment complex, they began fighting the massive fire.
It took several hours for firefighters to completely extinguish the blaze, but when the smoke finally cleared, the tenants were relieved to find that many of the units hadn’t suffered severe damage. However, the same couldn’t be said for Nana.
Because Nana’s apartment had been so close to the initial fire, her entire unit, and everything in it, was destroyed. With their home and their possessions lost, Nana and her family were forced to move in with her aunt. But that’s not all…
The Orange County Register
Nana’s aunt’s apartment building didn’t allow pets, so Sasha had to be separated from Masailah and kept with another family member. Even though Nana brings Masailah to visit often, it’s clear that Sasha really misses her best friend.
Since the fire, a GoFundMe campaign was started in order to help Nana and her family rebuild their lives. They’re still trying to pick up the pieces of what they once had, but Nana knows that without Sasha, she and Masailah wouldn’t be here today.
“Without her, we probably would’ve never made it out,” Nana said of her heroic dog. “I owe Sasha my life… she saved us all. She is our hero.”