A 6-year-old girl from Mississippi, Bryanna Cook, has been honored for her bravery in helping emergency responders locate her family’s car after her mother suffered a stroke while driving in a rural area.
Bryanna, a first-grader at Fairview Elementary School in Columbus, was crucial in guiding responders to the scene. The incident occurred on October 23 as Bryanna and her mother, Yolanda Cook, were en route to visit Bryanna’s grandmother in Preston.
When her mother became unresponsive after their car stopped in the woods due to a stroke, 6-year-old Bryanna took quick action. She grabbed her mom’s cell phone and, feeling scared, called her grandmother.
Unable to wake her mother, Bryanna’s grandmother instructed her to call 911. Bryanna first contacted a Noxubee County dispatcher, who then connected her with Latonya Malone, a dispatcher in Lowndes County.
Following her initial 911 call, Bryanna continued to assist dispatcher Malone and first responders by providing crucial information about her surroundings, the distance of the car from the road, and her mother’s condition.
Malone capitalized on the availability of the cellphone to communicate with Bryanna’s grandmother, who contributed additional details about their intended destination based on their departure time.
Throughout the two-hour search for the pair, Bryanna remained on the phone, diligently following Malone’s instructions, aiding the efforts of the emergency responders in Noxubee and Lowndes counties.
Bryanna said she opened the doors for fresh air but in the course of helping the situation, she attempted to wake her unresponsive mother by tapping her face. Eventually, the information provided by Bryanna and her grandmother guided first responders to the car.
Yolanda Cook was initially taken to the Macon Hospital and later airlifted to North Mississippi Medical Center in Tupelo. Bryanna stayed with her mother at the hospital until her release on October 31.
Bryanna said her actions were informed by her love for her mother which is why she did everything in her power to save her. Bryanna received support from her teachers and the school principal during this challenging time.
Upon being honored by county supervisors, Bryanna had the opportunity to meet dispatcher Malone in person. Fairview Principal Monte Ewing-Johnson commended Bryanna for exemplifying values that the school’s faculty aims to instill in students.