Local Child Helps Save Father’s Life

Local Child Helps Save Father’s Life

Staying calm during a life-threatening emergency is hard to do for any person, but for the nine- year-old daughter of a Grissom Airman, it was her natural reaction.

In May, Kelsey Baker and her father Master Sgt. Mitchell Baker, 434th Security Forces Squadron squad leader, were entering a home improvement store in Kokomo, Ind., when the older Baker began to feel dizzy.

“As we were getting out of the car I started to feel dizzy and decided to sit in the car a little longer until the feeling went away,” said Michell Baker. “After a few minutes I felt fine and started walking toward the store when I heard a buzzing sound in my ear, and that’s when I fell to the ground and my leg started twitching.”

Kelsey had never been in a situation like this before, however she reacted as if she was a veteran.

“When I saw my father fall to the ground I stayed with him and asked someone to call 911,” said Kelsey.

Once the paramedics arrived Kelsey continued to remain calm and assisted the paramedics.

“When the paramedics arrived my father’s speech was hard to understand so I had to answer a lot of their questions,” she said.

It turned out that Michell suffered a stroke, and Kelsey’s quick action and calm demeanor is a main reason why her father survived.

“When we were riding in the ambulance I was unsure if he was going to live because his speech was slurred and it was hard to understand him,” Kelsey continued. “When we arrived at the hospital the doctors told me that he was going to live.”

In honor of Kelsey’s heroic actions, the 434th SFS, the Rising 6 and the Fulton County Sheriff’s Department, honored her with awards during a ceremony held July 8 at Grissom.

The award from the SFS is the first of its kind and was initiated by Staff Sgt. Anthony Kahl, 434th SFS fire team member.

“I initially approached my commander and supervisor to see if there were any military awards we could present to Kelsey, but there wasn’t anything,” said Kahl. “Instead we decided to create our own award and hold a ceremony in honor of Kelsey’s heroic actions.”

Kelsey received recognition, gifts, and plaques during the ceremony.

At the close of the ceremony a tearful Mitchell Baker shared a few thoughts thanking all those in attendance and gave special thanks to his daughter for her heroic actions.

He is currently going through rehabilitation and hopes to return to work soon.

“My current status is improving, the doctors found a hole in my heart which was the likely cause of my stroke,” said Baker. “I have faith in God and every day I thank God for keeping me alive.”

Kelsey wants people to know that it’s important to stay calm in emergency situations and children should stay with their parents if they need help.

The 434th ARW is the largest KC-135R Stratotanker unit in the Air Force Reserve Command.

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