Niagara Gazette — LOCKPORT — On the morning of February 22, 2002, Jim Mangani put his young daughter, Gillian, in bed with her mother, Stacey, before he left his Town of Lockport home and headed off to work at the New York Power Authority.
It was part of Mangani’s daily routine, and Gillian would watch television in bed while Stacey woke up to start her day.
That morning, Stacey never woke up.
Stacey, a diabetic, arose just long enough to take an insulin shot before falling back to sleep. Without food to balance the injection, her blood sugar spiraled as she slipped into unconsciousness.
When Gillian tried to wake her, Stacey didn’t budge. Miraculously, 4-year-old Gillian ran to the phone and dialed 911, explained that she couldn’t wake up her mother, then remained on the phone with the dispatcher until help arrived.
“When we saw an ambulance or something we would always say someone must’ve needed help and called 9-1-1,” Stacey said. “It was really something we always tried to prepare her — not expecting at 4 that she would do it — but so that’d she know to call 9-1-1 if someone needed help.
“Kids are like sponges; you never really know what they’ve picked up until they ... do something like Gillian did.”
Stacey has a copy of the recording of the dispatch call. She said when she plays it, people can’t believe how calm Gillian sounded.
“They asked her, ‘Is the front door locked?’ and she said, ‘No, but I can go unlock it,’ “ Stacey said. “She comes back up and said, ‘I unlocked the door and put my kitty in the basement so he doesn’t get in the way.’ “
“I remember opening the door, (the medics) all kind of rushed in and I told them where she was,” said Gillian, now 16 years old. “I remember when they were up in the bedroom, I just sat in the corner of the room. They were all over her. It was scary.”