Boy, 7, commended for keeping calm in mom's medical emergency

A 7-year-old boy was honored by the Selden Fire Department on Aug. 26, 2014 for his heroic response after finding his mother unconscious inside their home. (Credit: Newsday / Jessica Rotkiewicz)

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Michael Sitler was downstairs in his Selden basement playing on Friday when he heard a thud come from upstairs. The 7-year-old's mother had fallen, and she needed his help.

Michael recounted the tale to reporters at the Selden Fire Department on Tuesday night of how he had rushed to his mom's aid and calmly called 911 when she lost consciousness.

Michael's fast response and cool head under pressure earned him honors from first responders and local politicians on Tuesday. During his mom's medical emergency, he also had to calm his upset younger sister and an anxious dog while speaking with a dispatcher on the phone.

"We had a little crying time" when he first found his mom convulsing on the floor, Michael told reporters. But soon he snapped into action, and Tuesday he was commended by dispatcher Marlo Van Houten for having all the answers to her questions.

"He was so sweet and doting over his mom," Van Houten said. "He knew his address, he knew how old his mom was."

Sunny Sitler, Michael's mom, said she was putting away groceries on Friday when her arms started to tremble and grow weak. Then she felt shooting pain in one arm -- soon, she was convulsing. She called to her son and fell to the floor. Sunny Sitler tried to tell Michael to call 911, but couldn't get it out: "I felt like I was swallowing my tongue," she said Tuesday.

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Sunny Sitler was taken to Stony Brook University Hospital, where she was treated. Michael also gave first responders contact information for his father, a correction officer working at the Suffolk jail at the time.

On Tuesday, as her son was named an honorary junior firefighter and given a certificate for bravery by the Selden Fire Department, Sunny Sitler thanked him. "I just want to thank everybody that helped save my life -- and my son, for his quick thinking," she said. "I am very proud of you, and I know this little experience is going to take you far."

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