4-Year-Old Sings to Save Mom

Four-year-old sang his address to 911

Simple nursery rhymes are used to help young children remember their letters and numbers. But Jamie Coder of Fort Wayne, IN, taught her son a song which helped her receive emergency medical attention.

Four weeks ago, Coder was knocked unconscious when she fell down a flight of stairs. Little 4-year-old Alex Hayes found her body and called 911 on a cell phone. He then began singing his address to dispatcher Manda Overly, a song his mother taught him when they moved to the house just the week before.

"With the littleness and the shrillness in his voice, it was hard to get the address at first, but he was very awesome and repeated it over and over," said Overly. "He told me that Mommy fell down. We just got help there as soon as we could."

Hayes' mother credited a child development class she took in high school.

"There I learned if you teach a child any kind of music or a rhyme, they will actually pick it up quicker," said Coder, who fortunately only suffered assorted aches and pains from the incident. "I taught him his phone number, his address, and he knows how to spell several words because of the songs."

Hayes was honored Friday with the city's first Kid Hero award in a ceremony with Overly, the city's police and fire chiefs, and Mayor Tom Henry.

"I'm very proud of him," said Coder. "This is something he probably will remember for the rest of his life, but he may not understand why they're doing all this celebration."

Matt Bartosik, former blogger of The Chicago Traveler and editor of Off the Rocks' next issue, always remembers his address but often forgets his keys.

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