A seven-year-old boy is being hailed as a hero for saving his grandfather with a 911 call after the man keeled over in a minivan at the side of the road in Chilliwack, B.C.
Evan Raap’s voice cracked with emotion as he told the 911 operator his grandpa was unresponsive in the front seat.
“I’m worried,” Evan said after grabbing his grandfather’s cellphone to call for help.
“He’s not talking and he’s really sweating,” Evan said, telling the operator his grandfather was slumped over in the front seat after saying he had to “pull over for one second.”
“He just lay down,” Evan told the operator. “I thought he was joking and then I saw something fall out of his mouth,” he said, referring to his grandfather’s dentures.
During the 13-minute 911 call released by the RCMP, Evan provided details about a store and train tracks they’d passed before stopping on a gravel road.
The information helped guide a police officer to the scene before an ambulance arrived in the Fraser Valley community east of Vancouver.
Evan told the operator that he and his grandfather, George Epp, 67, were going to the bank and that his grandpa was taking care of him while his dad was at work.
The little boy also became emotional as he said he had to get to a soccer game because he was the goalie.
The boy’s father, Brian Raap, said Wednesday his father-in-law blacked out in severe pain because of a broken back, which the family cannot explain because the man has been in good health and recently passed a physical exam. “It’s almost like an osteoporosis kind of thing, which he doesn’t have. Part of his vertebrae just disintegrated,” Mr. Raap said.
“The doctors told us that in order for someone to possibly get that you’d have to jump off a three-storey roof and land on your tail bone.”
Mr. Raap said he was surprised to learn that his son used an iPhone that was locked and needed a password.
“We didn’t even know this but the bottom left-hand corner of it says emergency call. He was able to push that and it unlocks it for emergency calls only. He was able to figure that out himself.”
Mr. Raap said his wife, Melissa, had instructed their son to call 911 for emergencies.
“They need to know how to use current technology on cellphones,” he said. “I’ve always said get the cellphones away from them, they don’t need to use cellphones but this has proven my thought process wrong.”
Mr. Raap said his son was not supposed to be with his grandfather on Saturday, but that he’d dropped him off that morning to get to work earlier than usual.
“We don’t want to talk about what may have been. But we were being looked after.”
Cpl. Tammy Hollingsworth said the incident is a stellar example of why it’s so important to teach children to call 911 in case of emergencies.
“It’s unbelievable,” she said of the boy’s ability to stay calm and provide details about his surroundings when he was so scared.“
A shy Evan Raap said his grandfather is “resting and recovering” in hospital.
Evan’s soccer game was cancelled because of rain.