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Nation & World

3-Year-Old Saves Her Ailing Father By FaceTiming Her Mother

She might not be able to read or write, but 3-year-old Molly McCabe of Frederick County, Va., was savvy enough to save her father's life as he suffered a stroke.

It was July 4 and Molly was at home with her dad, Trevor McCabe, and her younger sister. Her mother, Devon McCabe, a nurse at Winchester Medical Center, had already left for work.

While she was there, Devon saw a missed FaceTime call from her husband's phone. Then she received another call. Her distraught daughter Molly was on the other end.

"She was sobbing, crying, [saying], 'Look at daddy, look at daddy,' " Devon told The Winchester Star. Then Molly turned the phone toward her father, who was lying still on the floor of their home.

Devon immediately called 911 and contacted a neighbor, who went to the house, the newspaper reported. Trevor was taken to the medical center where his wife works. Later, he was airlifted to Inova Fairfax Hospital for emergency brain surgery.

Doctors discovered that Trevor had a rare condition called basilar artery occlusion, according to CBS news. It often causes death or long-term disability in its victims.

The stroke happened because a hole in his heart from when he was an infant did not close as he grew. That set the condition for a clot to form and travel to a major artery in his brain.

In the weeks following the stroke, the McCabes have worked out what transpired and led to Trevor's survival that day.

He was washing a dish in the kitchen when he heard "a loud buzzing noise and thought it was the sink," Devon told CBS. "He turned it off and on again then realized it wasn't the sink — the sound was in his head."

Realizing he needed help, he ran to his phone and unlocked it, but paralysis took over. He fell to the floor and couldn't say a word, she said.

Molly knew something bad had happened and took his phone.

Trevor McCabe has undergone several procedures, including brain and heart surgery. It will take time for him to recover.

A GoFundMe page was set up to raise money for the family. "There will be a long and arduous road ahead. Trevor still needs incredibly nuanced care," the page states.

Trevor is the assistant brewer at Escutcheon Brewing in Winchester. Lori Hovermale, tap room manager, says that she and her husband, the head brewer, have visited Trevor a few times.

"The progress he has made has been amazing," she told NPR. "The first time we visited, he was not conscious. The second time he was joking, having conversations about things that happened months ago. We've been able to see him walk."

As for Molly's tech skills, her mother told media outlets that she might have picked up on how to use FaceTime from all the times they would call her grandparents.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.