An Ohio teenager and her dog are being praised as heroes after they recently saved her grandmother’s life following a medical emergency.
Elise Kilmer credits her labradoodle puppy, Saige, for helping get to her grandma in time after the elderly woman, who lives with dementia, collapsed in their Burton home in November, WJW reported.
“It was really great because I don’t know when I would’ve come out of my room and if it would’ve been too late by then,” the 17-year-old told the local outlet. “Saige definitely helped me get down there in time.”
On the day of the incident, Kilmer was in her bedroom when her pup suddenly began barking and scratching at the door, according to the outlet.
Because Saige’s behavior was so abrupt, Kilmer got up and followed the dog down to the kitchen, where they found her grandmother in serious need of medical attention.
It was then that Kilmer jumped into action.
“I was shocked at first, so I ran over to her and picked her up and laid her down on the floor because she was unconscious and then grabbed the phone and called,” Kilmer recalled to WJW, noting that her grandmother, in addition to being unconscious, was also choking when she found her.
As it turned out, Kilmer reportedly worked as a lifeguard at a local YMCA — so the teen had no problem administering CPR until first responders arrived at the home.
Her grandma was eventually transported to a hospital, where she remained for two nights, but has since recovered, according to WJW.
Looking back on the rescue, Kilmer acknowledged that without Saige’s instincts and response, her grandmother might not have survived.
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“I’m not sure if she had heard my grandma fall out of the chair or something, but she definitely knew,” Kilmer told WJW. “They hear things that we don’t hear.”
“I guess if no one was home it would have been a completely different outcome,” she added to the outlet. “I feel really proud I was able to help my grandma in that way.”
In the months since the encounter, Kilmer has been praised as a hero, not only by her family but also by the state of Ohio, WJW reported.
On March 12, the teen is set to be honored with a Greater Cleveland Hero Award by the Red Cross of Northeast Ohio for her life-saving efforts.
“This event honors local those who have performed heroic acts of extraordinary courage to become someone’s hero,” the organization’s website states. “These are ordinary people who put themselves in harm’s way or have even risked their own lives to save another.”
Though the feat was heroic, her mother Melanie said it certainly wasn’t out of character for her daughter, who plans on studying Horse Production and Management in college.
“I’m not really surprised about Elise’s abilities because she’s always been a mature individual,” she told WJW, adding on behalf of the family, “We’re extremely proud of her.”