WEYMOUTH — Tiffany Lynch, eight months pregnant, woke up one morning last month with a vicious stomach bug. She made her daughters breakfast and went into the living room, where she remembers doubling over in nausea. But then her mind went blank. The expectant mother had collapsed and was unconscious.
Her 3-year-old daughter, Aryanna, grabbed her mother’s cellphone off the floor and, somehow, unlocked the screen. Then she found a picture of her cousin, pressed it to call her, and left a message.
“Come over,” she told her cousin.
Her cousin called the police and dialed Aryanna back immediately, and the little girl answered the phone, terrified and crying. Four police cruisers, a firetruck, and an ambulance showed up at their Abbott Street home, and Aryanna, dressed up as Snow White, her favorite Disney princess, unlocked the front door to let the rescuers in.
Tiffany came to with emergency medical technicians cutting off her clothes. She estimates she was unconscious for about 20 minutes, and it was not until she was placed in the ambulance that first responders told her how they knew she needed help.
“I still can’t believe this story,” Lynch said. “I cry every time someone asks me about it.”
Mother and daughter recounted the events of that fateful morning on Wednesday, at the Weymouth Police Station, where Aryanna was honored for her bravery.
“Mama fell,” Aryanna said Wednesday, when asked why she called her cousin.
Aryanna saved her life, said Lynch, and that of her soon-to-be little sister, Ashlynn-Lee.
Tiffany Lynch’s husband, Kevin, was not at home when she passed out because he had driven himself to the hospital hours earlier, suffering from the same stomach bug and had no idea his wife was so ill. The couple’s 1-year-old daughter, Camryn, was home with her mother and sister.
“I don’t know when I would have been there,” Kevin Lynch said. “I don’t even want to think” about what would have happened.
Tiffany and Kevin Lynch said they had taught their daughter their address, but not how to call for help in an emergency. Tiffany Lynch said she keeps her phone’s screen locked because her daughter loves to make calls, and neither of the parents could figure out how Aryanna got it open.
“All by itself,” was the only explanation Aryanna gave.
Weymouth police found the rescue so remarkable that they invited Aryanna and her family to a ceremony in the police station lobby to celebrate her courage and quick thinking.
“When a child acts so responsibly, it’s just a delight to hear,” said Weymouth Police Chief Richard Grimes, before presenting Aryanna with an award from Mayor Susan M. Kay.
“Your quick response and undeniable concern for your mother’s well-being has made an everlasting impression on many of us,” Grimes read out. “Weymouth is proud of you for being an outstanding citizen, and commends you for your bravery.”
Aryanna also won a safety award from recently retired safety officer Bob Barry, who said that at least once a year police recognize a child for an act of courage.
“And guess what?” he said to Aryanna, as he and three other officers crouched down around her. “This little plaque right here
The gathered police and firefighters applauded, and Aryanna proudly held her awards and posed for pictures. But two special gifts got her really excited: a basket of toys from Walmart, complete with a Rapunzel dress and tiara, and a scholarship to the Early Childhood Preschool and Learning Center in Weymouth.
“All she talks about is going to school,” Tiffany Lynch said. “She wants to make new friends.”
Her daughter, who frequently dons princess dresses, will probably wear the Rapunzel outfit to her new preschool, she said.
The crowning delight of the afternoon for Aryanna was sitting in a Weymouth police cruiser, playing with the siren.
The little girl was shaken up by her mother’s collapse for a few days, Tiffany Lynch said, and worried she should call an ambulance every time her mother did not feel well, but things have now gone back to normal.
For now, anyway. Tiffany Lynch, whose due date was three days ago, said on Wednesday afternoon that she was starting to have contractions.
“I think it’s actually going to be today,” she said.Evan Allen can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @evanmallen.