A young hero: Johnson County 9-year-old honored for calling 911 to save neighbor

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OLATHE, Kan. — A Johnson County 9-year-old is being honored as a hero. The young girl called 911 when her neighbor was having a medical emergency earlier this month. 

Bekkah Suraud was given the 911 Hero award at the Johnson County Emergency Communications Center on Monday afternoon.

On May 2, Bekkah found her neighbor’s dog outside in the 85th and Kessler area. When she returned the dog, she found her neighbor struggling to breathe, so she called 911 on her neighbor’s locked phone using emergency mode. 

“I came in here to give her back her dog. I saw her laying on the floor, and I asked if she’s OK. She said no, and she’s really cold,” Bekkah said on the 911 call. 

Bekkah spoke to the 911 operator for more than 4 minutes. The entire call was more than 7 minutes. She stayed calm and answered all his questions. This allowed him to send the paramedics to help her neighbor. 

“Shortly before that, my uncle had died. So I just thought it was the right thing to do because it was since that happened. There’s been a lot of stuff going through my head,” Bekkah said. 

Trey Glidewell has been a 911 operator for a year and a half. He answered Bekkah’s call and said he’s impressed with how she handled it.  

“Halfway through the call, I asked her to take her phone back to her grandma so her grandma knows what’s going on. Her grandma answers the phone, and she’s just kind of freaking out about it. And I was like, ‘No, no, she’s not in trouble,’” Glidewell said. 

Teri Suraud, Bekkah’s grandmother, said she’s proud of Bekkah. 

“She was worried, but she was calm at the same time, and I don’t know how she kept her composure,” Teri said. “Virginia is good. They put a pacemaker in her. She was in the hospital for a while, but she’s doing better and it’s all because of [Bekkah].” 

Bekkah hopes what she did will remind other kids what to do in an emergency. 

“If anyone is hurt, and you think they’re having really big problems and something’s wrong with them, then just call 911. Find the closest phone or closest person who has a phone,” Bekkah said. 

Bekkah wants to be a 911 operator when she grows up. Her teachers said she’s a great student at  Comanche Elementary. As for the neighbor, she has a friend to drop by often to check on her.

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