January 04, 2022
A heroic little girl was awarded the Medal of Bravery by the Canadian Governor-General in recognition of all the efforts she took to save the lives of her baby brother and mom following a terrible accident in 2015.
It's not every day that we get to witness acts of sheer bravery and courage. However, such stories become even more impactful when they involve little kids emerging as real-life heroes, saving the day in the most brilliant ways.
The story of the Shymanski family's miraculous survival revolves around little Lexi, who acted just in time to flag help for her mother and baby brother after their SUV was met with a horrific accident near the Canadian Rockies.
The driver's wife pictured alongside a shot of little Lexi who together helped save Angela and Peter's life. | Photo: YouTube.com/Inside Edition
THE TRAGIC ACCIDENT
Angela Shymanski was driving to Prince George after vacationing in Calgary with her two kids, 5-year-old Lexi and 10-week-old Peter, on June 8, 2015, when her SUV suddenly went down a 40-foot embankment. She also shared:
“It is a day I’ll never forget, and I’m still astounded at what happened."
The mom-of-two explained that she had put a piece of soft lullaby music in the car so her kids would fall asleep, but she ended up dozing off as well. Resultantly, her vehicle went straight down an embankment in western Alberta, Canada.
THE REAL HERO
The tragic accident rendered Angela unconscious, coupled with a broken back, shattered ribs, and multiple internal injuries. The sobs of her baby brother woke up Lexi, who decided to take charge after she failed to wake up her mom.
Not only did Lexi manage to free herself from the hold of her five-point harness car seat, but she also climbed up the rocky terrain barefoot to flag help from passersby on the main road.
Her waving hands were noticed by a driver and his wife, who immediately pulled over to help the little girl. Fortunately, the driver was trained to provide medical services during emergency situations, which helped save Angela and Peter's life.
Angela driving the SUV shortly before it went down the embankment. | Photo: YouTube.com/Inside Edition
TO THE RESCUE
Angela and Lexi were then rushed to the University of Alberta Hospital in Edmonton by air ambulance. Little Peter was taken later in the night through a ground ambulance and underwent neurosurgery to stop the swelling in his brain. Angela recalled:
"Peter's healing was thanks to pediatricians and neurologists and the therapies that were available to us to give him the best chance of recovery."
To stop Angela's internal bleeding, doctors removed her spleen, and several of her other organs were repaired. Luckily, Lexi had bare scratches on her chin. Angela later learned that her heart had stopped while driving due to an undetected heart condition.
Lexi's father, Travis, becomes teary-eyed recalling the brave act of of his daughter. | Photo: YouTube.com/Inside Edition
ROAD TO RECOVERY
However, the road to recovery for the Shymanskis was indeed a long and difficult one, especially for Lexi's dad, Travis Shymanski, who had to leave his job to take care of his wife, who was in a wheelchair, and their two kids.
While their loved ones set up a GoFundMe to help cover their medical and living cost, the Shymanskis had to deal with the trauma of the accident themselves. Little Lexi suffered from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder for a good part of her childhood.
Her baby brother Peter took his time to recover from a brain injury while her mom struggled to walk for years. As time went by, the Shymanskis began drawing strength from the horrific accident, cherishing their time together as a family.
Lexi pictured with her brother Peter and mom Angela. | Photo: YouTube.com/Inside Edition
MEDAL OF BRAVERY
Angela further expressed that she's absolutely grateful to her little princess for emerging as a lifesaver the day of the accident, without realizing the impact of her actions. Regarding her daughter's interests and passions, she shared in 2020:
"She took her Home Alone course and she took First Aid - she just has that kind of mind. There's something special about Lexi that she was able to do that heroic thing five years ago."
Undoubtedly, had it not been for Lexi and the Good Samaritans who stopped by to help her family, Angela and Peter would not have survived that terrible accident. Lexi was also awarded the Medal of Bravery by the Governor-General for her brave act.
Lexi showing her Medal of Bravery awarded by the Governor-General. | Photo: YouTube.com/Inside Edition
ANOTHER LITTLE HERO
It seems that little Lexi wasn't the only superhero who saved the day with her bravery and strength. Another 5-year-old girl helped save the life of her drowning mom after she experienced a seizure in the pool in Taft, Texas, in March 2016.
Tracy Anderwald was enjoying a swim in her backyard pool when she suddenly fell unconscious. Her daughter, Allison, immediately dived in and slowly began moving her towards the pool's shallow end. She had been swimming since the age of 2.
Anderwald learned of her daughter's heroic act after waking up in the hospital. The phenomenal stories of Lexi and Allison teach us that helping someone only requires a big heart because real strength comes from within.
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