Kristy Pedersen

12-year-old calls 911, saves toddler from choking death

By Faith Heaton Jolley, | Posted - Aug 20th, 2014 @ 6:38pm


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WEST JORDAN — The quick-thinking and calmness of a 12-year-old girl saved her 2-year-old brother.

Kristy Pedersen said the incident occurred Aug. 12 around 6:45 p.m. in their West Jordan home. Pedersen said she was at an activity at their church down the street when her 9-year-old son, Matthew, came into the church and told her that 2-year-old Jayden was choking.

“My kids are a little bit prone to over-exaggeration,” she said. “Matthew running to the church to get me with one shoe on — he could only find one so he just put that one on and took off to get me. I knew something was wrong, but Jayden does kind of have a hard time swallowing and he’s choked before, but he’s been able to get it out. I just kind of knew that this one was different and we needed to run.”

Shaylee Pedersen, 12, was baby-sitting her two younger brothers at the time of the incident and she said she was a little nervous when Jayden started choking on his dinner, but she remained calm. Shaylee told Matthew to run and get their mother from the church and she quickly called 911.

“That was my first time to call 911,” Shaylee said. “I have had one health and safety class in a Young Women’s (activity) and they gave us a little bit of instruction. I was just sort of talking to (Jayden) and I sang a little bit of Frozen music (to keep him calm) because that’s the only movie he’ll watch.”

“I think Shaylee was actually calmer when things were happening than I was,” Kristy said.

Kristy said Jayden was getting a little bit of oxygen around the food lodged in his throat and the ambulance arrived within five minutes of Shaylee calling 911. Jayden was transported to Primary Children’s Hospital, but by the time he arrived, the food had gone into his lungs. However, Kristy said all the necessary staff were at the hospital and they were able to quickly remove the food from his lungs.

“I’m really, really proud of both of my kids,” Kristy said. “They did amazing. If she hadn't called 911, I know there would have been a different outcome.”

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