5-Year-Old Karli LaFever Saves Her Grandma’s Life Because She Knew To Make An Emergency Call

Karli Lafever


One of my worst fears as a mother is something happening to me when I’m alone with my kids. I think that would be doubly true if I had an ongoing health issue like diabetes. This is exactly what happened to great-grandmother Jennifer LaFever a 75-year-old diabetic  woman from Murrietta, California, who was watching her 5-year-old great-grandchild Karli LaFever

Monday night Karli’s mother Brianna, received a phone call from her daughter, telling her that Jennifer was sick and acting strange. Jennifer’s blood sugar levels were dangerously low. According to Brianna, in an interview with Patch.com:

“She said her Nana was crying and that when she asked her what was wrong, she said she was sick…My daughter said, ‘I have to call my mom so she can call her doctor.”


When Karli made her fateful phone call, Jennifer was apparently aware enough to try to refuse any help, but by the time Brianna got home a few minutes later, Jennifer was completely incoherent and couldn’t speak at all by the time 911 was called and EMTs got to the house.

EMTs treated Jennifer at the scene to stabilize her and then took her to a nearby hospital. She was in serious condition at first, but thankfully was able to return home just in time to ring in 2014 with her family. Let’s all let out a collective “AWWWWW.” According to the eternally grateful Jennifer:

“I don’t remember any of it, really. I’ve had low blood sugar but nothing like that. But it all worked out because Karli acted so quickly.”

Brianna’s mom says this was nothing short of a miracle:

“I’m just glad, I’m proud of her. If my daughter wasn’t there and she didn’t call me she wouldn’t have made it.”

I think this is a great lesson on how important it is to make sure that kids understand what an emergency looks like and how to call for help. I do wonder if Karli knows 911 directly, but I’m guessing she does and was nervous to call it because of her grandmother’s protests before she stopped being able to speak.

For her bravery and smart thinking, Karli is being honored with the Life Saver Award from the Murieta fire department, and a spokesperson or the department says that without Karli, there is a good chance her grandmother could have died.
Karli, however, seem to think nothing of it.

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  • Fuzzy ‘n Broken Mirror

    And they rewarded her with a box!

    • Kay_Sue

      Kids love boxes. It’s the Rolls Royce of Kidworld…

  • FormerlyKnownAsWendy

    I wonder, too, if the kid would have called 911 on her own. She’s little but it’s so important to teach that and now I want to review this with mine.

    I had a student who was home alone for just a few minutes. Mom had left for only a few min., and forgot something on the stove, which started a house fire. This kid got himself and his little brother out of the house, then stood across the street and dialed 911, just like he was supposed to. However, the frightening part of the story is that the firemen were so impressed because they said most of the time, kids call their parents first and then parents call 911, or instruct the kids to. The firemen said if he had done that, they’d have lost their house completely. This way it only caused damage.

  • pixie

    That’s great that the little girl knows what to do! She can obviously deal pretty well with new and difficult situations. Even when taught what to do in situations like that, not everyone will remember what to do because of fear and panic. When I was 11 or 12, my grandmother (about 77 or 78 at the time) fell down the stairs at my house one morning and broke her foot. I had been taught to call 911 in emergencies, but I panicked and ended up calling my aunt who lived near by (my dad is nearly impossible to get ahold of at work and I think my mom was on a business trip overseas). My aunt was the one to call 911 and then 911 called my house.

    I also think back to when my grandmother had her massive heart attack and passed away. My dad was with her and called 911 immediately, but I wonder what would have happened if she had been looking after my then 4 year old cousin at the time. He’s a pretty spacey kid and is either glued to some screen or glued to his toys and doesn’t really notice anything else. I’m not entirely sure if he would have known to call 911 or even noticed for a while. Not a bad kid, and he seems pretty smart, just not observant.

    I’m really glad for that family that the little girl knew what to do and didn’t panic too much.

  • Des

    My husband is a diabetic. I wonder about this sometime. He’s had a few bad episodes that I’ve been able to help with. If it were just him and our five year old son?? I doubt my son could find the cell, swipe to open, find the icon to actually make a phone call, then successfully complete the call for help. I shudder. This is my wake-at-night fear.

  • Alex Blake

    I can’t say my daughter has ever been in a bad situation and shes only 3 and a half but shes fully aware of who to call for help. unfortunately because she’s so young I caught her one night, she had snuck into my room and called the “fire men” cause she needed help and they were the people that help you, needless to say there was heaps of apologies on my part to the 111 people.