A quick-thinking five-year-old is being hailed as a hero after using his smart speaker and Amazon’s Alexa to save his mother after she suffered an epileptic seizure.
A week before his mother’s seizure, Tyrion Spann’s grandmother, Natalie Neal, decided to program his speaker’s virtual assistant, so that Tyrion could call her whenever he wanted using voice commands.
“I just thought for, you know, him to tell me, ‘Hey grandmom, I love you. Hey Gigi, I love you,’” Neal said in an interview with ABC news affiliate, WPVI. “A week and a half later, he's calling because he can't wake his mom up.”
On Sept. 20, Spann was home alone with his mother, Jasmine, when she experienced what the family has called one of the worst epileptic seizures she’s ever had.
Unable to wake his unconscious mother, Tyrion immediately used Alexa to call his grandmother and ask for help. Tyrion demonstrated for local reporters how he called his grandmother, saying clearly into the speaker, “Alexa, call Gigi.”
“I thought he was laughing or joking and it turns out he was crying,” Neal said. “He told me he couldn't wake his mom up. So, of course, being her mom, my heart kind of fell to the ground a little bit.”
“As a parent with a child who has epilepsy, who lives on her own, that's a call I didn't want to get because it could mean anything.”
Despite her panic, Neal, who lives an hour away from Jasmine and Tyrion, did her best to remain calm and focus on the task at hand.
Neal told Tyrion she was going to call 911, and although the boy said he was “scared” during the incident, he remained calm, and opened the front door for first responders as soon as they arrived.
Tyrion’s mother is now doing well, but the incident has left Neal reflecting on the importance of teaching children how to utilize home technology.
“I'm old school, so we were trained to call 911,” Neal explained. “And I think in current times, our children have to learn how to use Alexa, the technology, to their advantage.”