10-year-old boy called hero after hunch, persistence lead to finding fallen senior
10:08 AM, Jan 29, 2014
7:14 AM, Jan 30, 2014
HOWELL, MI - "She said she kept praying to the Blessed Mother and she just kept thinking, 'if someone doesn't find me I'm going to be dead,'" said Sandy St. Onge-Mitter about her mother, who had slipped on some ice in her garage at night and prayed someone would find her in the bitter cold temperatures.
About an hour and a half later, 10-year-old Danny DiPietro and his dad were driving home from a hockey game and Danny spotted what he thought was a dog out of the corner of his eye.
"It was late at night and super cold out and their garage was open and something just didn't feel right," Danny told Scripps station 7 Action News.
Once he was home, Danny kept thinking something should be done about what he thought was a dog, so he asked his mom if she could go check it out.
Dawn DiPietro told her son there was no need to worry because no one would leave their dog outside in such cold Michigan temperatures. But Danny wouldn't let up. He wanted her to go look to make sure.
So, Dawn bundled up and took their dog for a walk by the condominiums where Danny said something just didn't seem right.
Halfway to the condos, Dawn could see someone on the ground of the open garage waving their hands.
"I was so scared, but happy she was alive," said Dawn.
Dawn raced back to her home with their dog, Bailey, to alert her husband and call 911.
Dawn's husband grabbed a blanket and summoned another neighbor to help. And as Dawn was on the phone with police dispatch, they raced to help the woman who had fallen in her garage with the overhead door open, leaving her exposed to Saturday night's bitter cold temperatures.
The woman who had slipped on some ice in her garage was 80-year-old Kathleen St. Onge.
Howell Police were quick to arrive with a rescue unit and St. Onge was rushed to a nearby hospital where she is still being treated for hypothermia and dehydration.
"Thank you so much," said Sandy St. Onge-Mitter, Kathleen's daughter who wanted to thank Danny in person Wednesday. "You're my hero," she told the 10-year-old.
Doctors told St. Onge's family that she likely would not have survived another hour in the frigid temperatures.
Sandy says her mother is so thankful Danny was alert and persistent and she can't wait to meet him when she is out of the hospital.
Where St. Onge had fallen in her garage was right next to her statue of the Blessed Mother that she brings in during the winter.
Sandy told 7 Action News that her mom "is very emotional when she talks about Danny. She says 'that boy saved my life.. Thank goodness for that little boy."