A place to show my love for my granddaughter who lives with Cerebral Palsy and my passion for painting. In an effort of raising awareness for C.P. every painting brush stroke I make on raw canvas is a stroke of love, as I discretely paint a green C.P. awareness ribbon in every piece. Can you find them?
Do you know someone who would like to have a painting done? email www.harrold.janet@gmail.com

Friday, May 6, 2011

Hailey is my Hero

What would you do if you had a medical emergency and your special needs child or grandchild is in your care? I definitely hemmed and hawwed over writing this post. I tend to be a more quiet person
and like to keep things to myself when I get sick. I really didn’t want to announce it over the internet that I had, well, lets call it an episode. But the fact remains that an emergency can occur when you are alone with your child who is non verbal or unable to let someone else know that you are in distress? Hailey is my hero.

While I was looking forward to having a well needed quality Sunday spent with my beautiful granddaughter, things went terribly awry. We were shopping at our local B.J.s when all of a sudden I had an overwhelming feeling take over me. The first thing I thought of in the few seconds I had before I went down for the count was where can I go in the store that Hailey will be safe. I didn’t have time to explain what was happening to a store clerk nor did I have time to explain Hailey had a disability etc. I couldn’t even muster up the strength to get my phone out of my bag. I headed for the ladies room, I thought if I can get to a confined space and call 911 or my husband I can tell them exactly where I am and Hailey won’t be in the carriage or able to escape. (she doesn’t walk but she can scoot all around the floor) As I was pulling my phone from my pocketbook my girlfriend was calling in, I had enough breath in me to say I am at B.J.s very sick in the bathroom and Hailey is with me. Brenda was coming from across town and I thought it would be quicker to call my husband who was less than 10 minutes away. I needed him to get here so that he could take Hailey. Moments after that phone call, I could hear 8 woman coming and going in the stalls next to me (I tried to call for help, but my voice wouldn’t come). I couldn’t bang anything to get the attention of others, I was loosing consciousness rapidly. I am typically a very strong and healthy individual but something happened to my nervous and circulatory system that caused my blood pressure to drop critically low 70 over 50 and my heart rate and pulse plummeted also. Anyway to spare you all of the gory details, Hailey began to crawl away and escape underneath the door, I got down on the floor and said “you get back here and stay with grammy” she crawled over to me and stayed with me. I wanted to be able to touch Hailey and reassure her that grammy would be alright. Laying down immediately brought the blood back to my brain and I could feel myself coming back. That is what saved my life. Hailey stayed right with me. Finally a woman saw me on the floor in the handicap stall and said “are you alright” I said “no, i’m very sick, I have my granddaughter with me, she is non verbal and she has Cerebral Palsy, she cannot walk, I need her to stay with me until my husband comes but you need to call an ambulance ” Unfortunately the roads had been blocked because of a Parade and 45 minutes passed before my husband and best friend arrived to take Hailey. The ambulance got through but I couldn’t leave Hailey until I knew she was safe with a family member. Hailey was so brave and she stayed with me on the floor for at least an hour. I believed she saved life. If I had been at home when this occurred chances are I would never had gotten on the floor. Looking back I may have been able to do things a bit differently but when you have a medical emergency there is not much time to think. I wrote this because I know a lot of parents are home alone with children who have disabilities, we never expect that something will happen to us, but if an emergency occurs, what precautions do you have in place to keep your child safe?


  1. Oh WOW Janet. So so so scary! I am so glad that you are now OK. You ask a very good question...we never think that something will happen to "US"...the caregiver. I need to think on this...

  2. Cary, it was really scary and just as a small measure it makes me think I should have a bracelet made for Hailey that says in an emergency call... On a happier note, Hailey is on her way to CE! The kids left this morning for a 4 week session, I will be joining them the last week. I can't wait to see her excitement!

  3. I'm glad that you are okay. This is an important post for everyone to consider. Even if we don't have a special needs grandchild, we may be caring for babies or toddlers. If we have older grandchildren in our care, do they know what to do in case of a medical emergency?