Loretta Smith, 70, of Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, is back home from the hospital today. She was having a stroke last week when she tried to call her son. Instead she got Kenny Crater, 28, a student who lives in Broomfield, Colo., near Denver. It was a mis-dialed call that ended up saving her life.
“If I would have kept laying on that floor, I would have died,” Smith told ABC News.
Last Saturday, Smith was sitting on her bed when the right side of her body went numb. She fell off of her bed and landed on her left arm, the only arm that she could move.
“I was scared to death. A million things go through your mind,” she said.
Thinking that she was on the brink of death, Smith flailed about, trying to free her arm. In the process, Smith knocked into her dresser. Her phone fell out of its holster on the dresser and landed next to her left hand.
Smith tried to dial her son’s number, but dialed one digit incorrectly and instead got Crater on the line in Colorado. Instead of hanging up, he listened to her tell him that she was having a stroke and where she lived. He then called his closest police department, the Broomfield Police Department, who transferred him to Cuyahoga police.
In a recording of his call to Cuyahoga Police, Crater can be heard trying to describe the unusual situation.
Crater: I’m in Broomfield, Colorado right now, somebody was asking- they’re having a stroke and they called my phone
Crater: It sounded like an older woman
Dispatcher: Do you know who it is?
Crater: I have no idea who it is. It’s just a freaky thing that she called me…
He gave them her address and phone number. Dispatchers then called Smith and had her describe the situation. Paramedics arrived at her house within the hour and she was taken to Summa Western Reserve Hospital where she was treated.
Smith said that doctors told her that it was a good thing that she got to the hospital so quickly and a few hours more could have caused irreparable damage.
Crater dismissed Smith’s portrayal of him as a hero.
“All I did was answer a phone and made a phone call. I kind of think it’s silly that the world is that hard up for heroes,” he said. He even thinks that it is Smith who should be described as a hero.
“She was the one who was having a stroke and still gave me all of her information. She was the one who survived the stroke,” he said.
But Smith will always credit Crater and his kindness for saving her.
“He’s like my guardian angel…Kenny Crater, he’s my hero,” Smith said.