Recognizes warning signs, calls for help
By Meagan McGone
TITUSVILLE -- It was a typical Saturday morning when 2-year-old Jada Hemming entered the laundry room of her Titusville home, demanding help.
"She came into the laundry room, where I was folding clothes, and said, 'Papa's sick! Papa's sick!" said Dustene Ostopovich, Jada's aunt.
Ms. Ostopovich thought that "Papa," 80-year-old Wayne Hodge, was just sleeping, and she told Jada so.
But the 2-year-old insisted that things were not right.
"Jada said to me, 'Papa is sick. Come, now,'" Ms. Ostopovich said.
When the two entered the room, Mr. Hodge was unconscious, with half of his body hanging off of the bed.
"He was trying to pull his tubes off because he was unaware of what he was doing," Ms. Ostopovich said. "I couldn't reach the phone and hold him steady at the same time, so Jada quickly went to get me the phone, and I called the ambulance. Jada stayed by her papa's side the entire time."
Jada is a triplet, along with her brother, Christopher, and her sister, Emily. At their school, Leonard Christian Child Development Center in Titusville, the children learn about safety precautions every month, which is why Jada recognized the danger her Papa was in, Ms. Ostopovich said.
"When the paramedics arrived, they told us that his temperature was 105 degrees, and they immediately transported him to Jess Parrish Medical Foundation in Titusville," she said. "He was there for six days. He was suffering from an infection."
Ms. Ostopovich said she was proud of Jada, as things could have been much worse.
"The paramedics said it was a good thing Jada found him and did what she did," Ms. Ostopovich said. "If we had waited any longer, it could have been fatal."