Third-grader uses 911 and candy to save grandmother

Kandace Kerr, left,  and Tyler Kerr pose at their house. Kandace helped save her grandmother during an emergency by calling 911. (Photo by Luke Backus)

When her grandmother picked up 8-year-old Kandace Kerr and her brother from gymnastics, the Bennett Elementary School third-grader could tell something was wrong.

Kandace convinced her grandmother, Teresa Nelson, to pull over on U.S. 62/82 because “Mimi,” as she called her, said she didn’t know where they were. Kandace also knew they were not headed in the right direction, and called her mother on Nelson’s cell phone for help. Her 5-year-old brother, Tyler, was also in the car.

But Kandace was unable to really tell her mother, DyAna Kerr, exactly where they were. And then the phone call was disconnected.

DyAna said she attempted to call Kandace back, but the calls kept going directly to voice mail. She called her husband, Shea Kerr, and the two hit the streets looking for Nelson’s car.

The reason why neither of her parents could get through was that Kandace called 911 for help. She knew her grandmother was having a diabetic problem.

“She called 911 and the police were there within five minutes,” DyAna said.

“(Nelson) actually told me to call 911, but I didn’t know if I should or not. It was that kind of problem, so I did,” said Kandace.

Kandace Kerr

Age: 8
Status: Third-grade student at Bennett Elementary School
Favorite subject: Science
Activities: Gymnastics, softball
Aspiration: To be a scientist, maybe an archaeologist

DyAna said police were able to find the car because Kandace was able to tell them enough about the area, such as that they had gone by her father’s business and a Dairy Queen in Wolfforth.

“She was just exactly right. She was able to explain where he worked,” said DyAna. “At the time I didn’t put two and two together, but I see exactly what she meant.”

Kandace’s response to the situation didn’t end with convincing her grandmother to pull over and calling for help.

“In the midst of that, once they got (Nelson) stopped, my daughter knew she had diabetes and knew her blood sugar was probably low. She knew she needed something sweet and was trying to give her candy.”

DyAna said her mother was already incoherent at that point. She said she was amazed that her daughter knew what to do.

“I didn’t know she would know enough to do it in that situation,” she said. “Even I get flustered when my mother has had that situation.”

DyAna said she did not think to call 911 because she did not know where the car was located.

“But (Kandace) knew to call, and they are the ones who found her,” said DyAna.

Nelson was taken to the hospital and is doing well now, DyAna said. She said her mother is getting a blood sugar monitor, too.

Kandace was initially very upset and scared after the incident, DyAna said.

“But we kept telling her, she did exactly the right thing, she did everything right. And then she felt proud,” said DyAna.

“I was just a little scared. If I hadn’t done that, she wouldn’t be living today. I was kind of nervous,” said Kandace.

Kandace was honored at Bennett Elementary School as a hero. She received a Character Counts coin and her story was told over the announcements to the entire school.

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