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Saving Mom

Boys call 911 after mother falls down stairs

Boys call 911 after mother falls down stairs

September 17, 2007|By JENNIFER FITCH

McCONNELLSBURG, PA. - Amy Woolford was assisting a woman at Giant Food Store late last week when the customer noticed Woolford's wrapped hand.

The shopper asked if Woolford was the woman whose young sons called 911, bringing an ambulance to the home where their mother lay unconscious Aug. 28.

When Woolford responded "yes," the shopper began to cry.

"She just said, 'You're so blessed to have children like that,'" Woolford said.

Woolford agrees.

Her sons, William and Zachary VanMetre, seem to think the ordeal was rather unremarkable and offer few details about what happened.

"The dog pushed mom down the stairs," said Zachary, 6.

In fact, the pit bull and Woolford both tumbled down 12 steps after colliding near the top of the staircase at around 11 a.m. Woolford hit her face on a baseboard heater and her head on the wall.

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The boys said they heard the ruckus and abandoned the movie they were watching to investigate.

"I wasn't conscious at the time. The only thing I really remember was that Zac was sitting beside me and William was on the phone. He said, 'Mom, don't move. They're telling me to tell you not to move,'" Woolford, 30, said during an interview Sunday.

William, who recently celebrated his eighth birthday, found 911 on a list of emergency numbers kept by the living room telephone. He waited outside for the ambulance while Zachary woke and dressed his 2-year-old brother.

"I remember being in the ambulance and seeing all three boys on the bench. The EMT was smacking my face and telling me to stay awake," Woolford said.

She declined an overnight stay at Fulton County (Pa.) Medical Center in order to see William and Zachary off to their first day at McConnellsburg Elementary School the following morning.

The experience shook William, who woke several times that night to check on his mother.

"He was really protective," Woolford said. "He said, 'I'm afraid something's going to happen.'"

The early stages of celebrity status have befallen William and Zachary as word spreads in the town of 1,100 people.

A representative of The Ellen DeGeneres Show called the elementary school, looking for Woolford's telephone number.

William smiled briefly when retelling the exchange in which his teacher congratulated him.

"She said, 'Good job. Give me a hug,'" the second-grader said.

William learned about 911 when asking questions about a segment that aired on The Oprah Winfrey Show.

His explanation of the emergency center's purpose remains simple.

"Pick up the phone and dial 911 when somebody's hurt," he said.

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