Girl receives honor for woman’s rescue

Published: August 7, 2007 | 6571st good news item since 2003

Kalleigh K. Martin heard the cries when Valerie L. Gilchrist found herself alone and in trouble.

Gilchrist, 61, had fallen down the steps in her Zilwaukee garage, landing face down. Her arm was immobilized by pain, her cell phone stuck in an unreachable pocket and the garage door down.

The 8-year-old next door came to the rescue. Kalleigh crawled through the home’s doggie door, made her way to the garage and helped Gilchrist alert neighbors, who called an ambulance. Doctors at St. Mary’s of Michigan hospital told Gilchrist she had dislocated and fractured her shoulder.

The girl received recognition for her aid in the June incident at Monday’s Zilwaukee City Council meeting. More than 30 people watched as Mayor Eugene C. Jolin gave the youth two plaques.

“She’s very quick, and she held her cool,” Jolin said. “She did all this hard labor, so we thought she deserved this award.”

“She was such a brave little girl,” Gilchrist said.

Kalleigh describes Gilchrist as “fun, playful and not mean.”

“I heard her calling my name, and I thought, ‘What’s going on?’ ” said Kalleigh, the daughter of Rob L. and Kristine K. Martin of Zilwaukee.

Kalleigh’s mother said Gilchrist and her daughter are close.

“She’s over there almost every day,” Martin said. “I’m so proud of her. It’s almost like God told her what to do.”

Published in Rescues
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