Toddler honored for FaceTiming dad during mom's medical emergency
Nathan Hylek received a FaceTime call from his 20-month old daughter and when he realized his wife was having a medical emergency, he dialed 911
By Amy Lavalley
Post-Tribune, Merrillville, Ind.
VALPARAISO, Ind. — With the push of a button, Teegan Hylek’s new teddy bear, outfitted like a South Haven Fire Department firefighter, complete with a department patch, says, “You’re a real life superhero!”
Teegan, 2, received the bear, as well as a pink blanket emblazoned with her name and a Porter County Sheriff’s Department patch, on Tuesday from those two agencies in recognition from those departments for a FaceTime call Teegan made to her father earlier this year that officials said likely saved her mother’s life.
Dressed in a copper tutu, purple sandals and a denim shirt, Teegan seemed unaware of the magnitude of her actions during a ceremony at the fire station in which first responders and family recalled her mother Loren Hylek’s medical emergency.
“If it wasn’t for Teegan, for FaceTiming her dad saying, ‘Daddy, Mom’s not feeling well,’ she wouldn’t be here,” said Eric Wood, a paramedic/firefighter with the fire department who has been promoted to captain since the incident.
Officials said the events unfolded the afternoon of Feb. 6.
Nathan Hylek, Teegan’s dad, was at work in East Chicago when Teegan FaceTimed him. Loren Hylek was home with Teegan and newborn Taelyn, who was only a few weeks old.
“She said, ‘Daddy, Mommy uh-oh,’” Nathan Hylek said, adding Teegan pointed the phone at Loren Hylek, who was on the bathroom floor, hemorrhaging. “I could see nothing was of normality at that point.”
Nathan Hylek hollered his wife’s name and she didn’t respond, so he called 911 around 2:19 p.m. that afternoon as he fled for home.
Wood was already at the family’s house in the 700 block of Devonshire Road in South Haven when Nathan Hylek arrived.
“When we found her, we found her not well, on the bathroom floor with a lot of things wrong,” he said, adding Loren Hylek was pale and cool the touch and began to improve after receiving an IV and fluids on the way to Porter Regional Hospital.
Loren Hylek experienced similar complications after having Teegan, Nathan Hylek said, but he understood the severity of the situation thanks to his daughter’s FaceTime call, prompting him to call first responders. Teegan was 20 months old at the time.
“I wasn’t conscious for anything Teegan did,” Loren Hylek said.
Teegan plays with both her parents’ phones, Nathan Hylek said, including FaceTime calls at her bedtime when he’s still at work. She’s gotten quite good at it, he added, “thankfully.”
Technology can be good and bad, said Sgt. Jamie Erow, with the sheriff’s department, but in this instance, Teegan’s call allowed Nathan Hylek to see what was happening at home.
“We felt like it was something she needed to be recognized for,” Erow said.
©2019 the Post-Tribune (Merrillville, Ind.)