During moments of extreme stress or danger, anyone can rise to the occasion, and the most unbelievable things can happen. This includes children as well. In 2015, Angela Shymanski was driving in the Canadian Rockies with her daughter Lexi, 5, and infant son Peter when she grew drowsy and fell asleep at the wheel.
The car swerved off the road, went down a 40-foot embankment and crashed at the bottom. Angela was knocked unconscious and her back was broken. Peter was awake and crying but needed emergency surgery. This is when Lexi unbuckled her five-point harness, escaped from the wreckage and climbed up the impossibly steep hill to flag down a car to rescue her family.
After waving and screaming at traffic, Lexi finally got the attention of Loni and Jeremiah Jirik, who stopped to help the girl and called emergency services. The embankment was so steep that when the firefighters arrived they used ropes to reach the bottom. Lexi was somehow able to climb it by herself while barefoot. This shows how strength can reach even the most unlikely people when they truly need it.
Angela’s heart had stopped by the time the paramedics arrived but she was able to be resuscitated at the scene and again on the way to the hospital. Lexi’s actions saved the lives of her family, and the little girl was awarded a medal of honor for her bravery from the Edmonton Police Headquarters. Her quick thinking changed a horror story into a miracle, and she was only 5 years old. Read on to learn more about Lexi and this incredible story.
Be sure to reach the end of this article to see the full video
Falling asleep at the wheel can be a deadly tragedy. Angela told Inside Edition: “I remember feeling my eyes shut one time. And that’s when I thought OK, (at) the next rest stop I am going to stop there. I never made it to that rest stop.” It only takes a moment for the car to go off course and crash, or in this case, go down an embankment.
Angela knows that she owes her and her son’s lives to her daughter. She said, “This little girl is the reason that I am alive, and that my baby’s alive and that my family’s together.” The fact that Lexi was so young but still able to execute all of the actions to free herself and get help is incredible. She deserves that medal and any other recognition she receives for her bravery on that day.
In a video shared by Inside Edition, Lexi was seen receiving the medal. For the occasion, she wore an elaborate sparkling princess dress and was visibly excited to be part of the official event. And she deserves every bit of recognition. As the CBC article explained, little Lexi beat impossible odds when she saved her little brother and mother.
After unbuckling her five-point harness, Lexi first had to deal with the airbag in her way. It had, of course, deployed during the crash and most likely made sure nothing worse happened to the young girl. After she managed to get out from under the airbag, Lexi was faced with a jammed door.
As it would not open the usual way, the brave girl decided to kick it open, and finally managed to free herself. After taking a quick look around, the young girl decided the road was her best bet to get help.Lexi then had to climb up the steep hill to get back to the road they had swerved off of. As she had lost her shoes, she had to face the climb barefoot. At the end of her frightening adventure, Lexi saved her family with the help of passing motorists. The two passersby that stopped to offer first aid and a helping hand toward Lexi and her crashed family also received awards.
The girl’s father, Travis Shymanski, told CBC that they had prepared Lexi on what to do in emergency situations just months before the accident. “Prepare your kids. Don’t try and shelter them from anything. It’s impressive what they can do and what they retain from the little bit of information that you give them,” he said.
After Lexi and her family were safe, they got out of the hospital and looked forward to the future. The young girl is not only brave but very bright and has a great life ahead of her. After being awarded the medal, Lexi said she planned to “take it to school for show and tell.”
While the whole experience must have been extremely frightening, it is good to see that Lexi can smile and be proud of it. What she did on that fateful day was not only brave but downright heroic.
What do you think of this unbelievable story? Has something like this happened to you or someone you know? Let us know, and be sure to pass this along to your friends and family.