9-Year-Old in Florida Honored for Heroism

A 9-year-old Daughtrey Elementary School student is expected to receive a certificate of bravery today for helping save her grandmother's life.

MiAngel Peterson's classmates will hear about how she kept her cool and called 911 on a late August night when she found her grandmother lying in a pool of blood on the kitchen floor.

"Her grandmother had a seizure and had fallen on her head," said Capt. Larry Leinhauser of the county's Emergency Medical Services.

MiAngel, pronounced "my angel," followed all the instructions given to her by the EMS dispatch, he said.

The EMS certificate is not given out very often, Leinhauser said.

"We've had some pretty dramatic situations, but what she did was equally heroic," he said.

The fourth-grader was spending the night at her grandparent's home in north Bradenton when her grandmother, 50-year-old Debra Gipp, fell.

It was MiAngel who found her, awakened by the barking of her grandparents' Chihuahua.

Though very frightened, MiAngel said she went immediately to wake her grandfather, Willie Gipp.

"When she woke me up, my wife was lying on the kitchen floor," he said. "It was like when you see something but don't believe it."

He said he tried helping his wife up. Then he noticed the blood.

"She got up at the counter, and was standing up for two seconds," MiAngel said of her grandmother. "Then she fell back down."

Her grandfather said he then told the girl to call 911.

"They asked for my name, and the phone number, and how to spell my grandmother's name, and how old grandma is," MiAngel said.

MiAngel remained calm and waited for the paramedics to arrive.

"She made sure that everything was alright before she started crying," said MiAngel's mother, Anna Peterson. "She had control of the situation up until the paramedics came."

Debra Gipp said she had never had seizures before and cannot remember what happened that night. Doctors told her she lost a lot of blood from her head injury, but are unable to tell her what caused her seizure.

But it was MiAngel who saved her life, said Debra Gipp, and she was thankful that her granddaughter was there.

"Her name says it all to me," she said. "I know there was a reason why she was here."