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Boys, 3 and 5, Help Save Mother In Diabetic Shock

March 5, 1991

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) _ A pair of very little boys are very big heroes for acting quickly to get help when their pregnant mother suffered a life-threatening diabetic seizure.

Joseph Zappa, 3, and his 5-year-old brother, Andrew, will receive Fire Department commendations from Mayor Jim Scheibel.

″It is spectacular that a 3-year-old and a 5-year-old could assess this medical situation and then intervene appropriately,″ acting fire chief John Colonna said Monday.

Last week, Joseph found his mother, Susan Zappa, unconscious in their home. He ran to a phone and called 911 for emergency help, reporting that his mother was sick but not much else.

Andrew said he then took the phone. ″I said that Mom had diabetics. They had to get some sugar in her,″ he said in an interview Monday.

Paramedics arrived within minutes and did just that, reviving Mrs. Zappa with intravenous dextrose.

Mrs. Zappa, 33 and two months pregnant, said she and her husband, Michael, had taught Andrew what to do if she ever went into insulin shock.

But Joseph’s quick thinking was a surprise, she said.

″I didn’t even know he knew the numbers on the phone,″ she said. ″We’re so proud of them. And very grateful, too.″

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