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This 8-year-old ‘hero’ from California saved his mother and his newborn sister, officials say

Eight-year-old Rivera Elementary second grader Tyson Sanchez, holds his newborn sister, Scarlett Gaeta, days after he helped his mother through pregnancy complications on April 11, 2019, with efforts that his school staff are calling heroic, according to the Merced City School District.
Eight-year-old Rivera Elementary second grader Tyson Sanchez, holds his newborn sister, Scarlett Gaeta, days after he helped his mother through pregnancy complications on April 11, 2019, with efforts that his school staff are calling heroic, according to the Merced City School District. Courtesy Merced City School District

A Merced second-grader helped his mother through a pregnancy-related medical emergency earlier this month, possibly saving the life of his newborn sister in the process, Merced City School District officials said Friday.

Staffers at Rivera Elementary School called 8-year-old Tyson Sanchez a hero.

Erin Gaeta, who was eight months pregnant, started having seizures on April 11 in her home due to eclampsia, a pregnancy-related high blood pressure disorder, according to a school district news release.

She used Siri on her iPhone to call her sister, Payton McDaniel, but couldn’t move or communicate. That’s when her son Tyson jumped in.

Tyson, who has gone through three open heart surgeries himself, spoke into the phone, explained to his aunt what was happening with his mother and followed Payton’s instructions. When his aunt arrived, she called 9-1-1 and Erin was transported to Mercy Medical Center, where she gave birth to her daughter, Scarlett.

Both mother and daughter were doing well, officials said.

Rivera Hero 1.jpg
Courtesy Merced City School District

“Tyson is strong, smart, and resilient,” Erin said in the statement. “He’s been through so much in his life ... It doesn’t surprise me that he was there for me the way I’ve always been there for him.”

Rivera Elementary staff are calling Tyson a hero.

Principal David Garza praised the 8-year-old Merced boy.

“Tyson was courageous and calm in a scary situation,” Garza said, “and he set an amazing example for his classmates and community.”

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