A little girl’s heroic story is going viral after she saved her mother and brother following a serious car accident.
Angela Shymanski was driving with her 5-year-old daughter Lexi and 10-week-old son, Peter, when she began nodding off at the wheel while a lullaby played in the car to put the children to sleep, reports People.
The family’s vehicle went off the road, slid down an embankment and hit a tree. The car landed with the back wheels in the air.
The mother and her son were both seriously injured, but Lexi woke up and jumped into action.
Angela said Lexi woke up, got out of her five-point harness, and climbed up the embankment, barefoot. The 5-year-old flagged down a driver, who was able to get help.
The mother was later told that the crash site was not actually visible from the road.
“It was only because [Lexi] came up and flagged people down that anybody would have stopped,” Angela said. “It’s crazy because the guy who came to see us in the hospital, he said the medics and the fireman needed ropes to get up and down that embankment, and she did it all barefoot.”
Lexi came away from the crash with only a small scratch and a soft tissue injury in her neck.
When she made it up the embankment and to the road, Lexi first stopped a family. The father got Peter from the car before a paramedic arrived and stayed with Angela.
The mother recalled that it “took him five tries before he could get cell service to call 911.”
Angela had small fractures in her upper back and neck, as well as broken ribs and liver damage. Peter was diagnosed with a brain bleed. Both the mother and her son were in recovery following the crash.
Lexi reportedly began experiencing nightmares after the traumatic incident.
“I’m hoping when things settle down those will disappear,” Angela said. “I carry major guilt over this whole thing.”
Angela, who is a swimming teacher, was confined to a wheelchair for months following the crash and was unable to work. Her husband took time off from work to help his wife and son recover.
A GoFundMe page was launched for the family, which raised more than $25,000 to help cover medical and living expenses.
“Everything has been quite chaotic,” Angela said. “Even now I sometimes wonder if this is a dream — is this real? And this is nothing compared to what some people go through.”