Brainerd boy saves mom having seizures with 911 call

Allison Doyle, owner of Tower Motors in Brainerd, had a seizure on Oct. 9 at the used vehicle dealership when there was no other adult around. The 35-year-old Brainerd woman’s 7-year-old son Kristopher Doyle had the presence of mind to keep calm and call 911.

Allison Doyle and son Kristopher Doyle sit in a reclining chair in an inner room of Tower Motors Wednesday, Oct. 28, in Brainerd. Allison had been sitting in the chair when she had a seizure and Kristopher called 911 to get help. Kelly Humphrey / Brainerd Dispatch

Heroes come in all shapes and sizes — even junior sized.

Allison Doyle’s 7-year-old son Kristopher kept his calm and called 911 when the 35-year-old Brainerd woman had a seizure on Oct. 9 at Tower Motors when no other adults were around.

“He witnessed something that no 7-year-old should have to see. … But he’s a tough little guy. … I’m very thankful for him. He did really good. I’m super proud of him,” said Allison Doyle, owner of the used vehicle dealership on Washington Street near Brainerd’s historic water tower.

Kristopher Doyle said of his mom’s medical emergency, “She started shaking a lot. … I tried asking her something, but she wasn’t responding. And I didn’t know any other phone numbers, so I just called 911.”


An evening like no other

Allison Doyle said she has a history of multiple sclerosis that her son was aware of, but she has never had any seizures up until last month when he used her cellphone to call 911.

“That’s a struggle that he’s processed through and learned to deal with,” Allison Doyle said about multiple sclerosis, a potentially disabling disease of the brain and spinal cord. “But I was sitting in my chair on Oct. 9 and ended up having a grand mal seizure that evening.”

A grand mal seizure causes a loss of consciousness and violent muscle contractions, according to the Mayo Clinic.

“I was there with the 7-year-old and 3-year-old — by myself — and he was able to keep the 3-year-old calm. … He unlocked the front door for the EMTs to come in,” Allison Doyle said of her son and her daughter Johannah.

Marsha Putnam, Allison Doyle’s aunt, said, “It was awesome. I was so proud of him. I didn’t even know how he did it. … He’s very smart for his age — always has been — and proud of him for calling 911 instead of freaking out and screaming ‘Mommy!’”

Putnam, a 61-year-old Brainerd resident, said she drove past Tower Motors that day, noticed the ambulance in the dealership parking lot and turned around to investigate.

Tower Motors Wednesday, Oct. 28, in Brainerd. Kelly Humphrey / Brainerd Dispatch


“I knew it was her, I just knew something was wrong. She was in the ambulance, and Kristopher had called 911 because he said, ‘Mommy just fell,’” Putnam recalled.

Kristopher Doyle said, “I was kind of scared … but I knew that the ambulance would come to pick up my mom.”

The 911 dispatcher knew exactly where to send first-responders or emergency medical services due to the quick thinking of the boy who remained cool under pressure.

“Apparently, when they asked for the address, he went to the desk and got a business card and gave them the address for where they were. I thought that was pretty good,” Putnam said with a chuckle.

Kristopher Doyle said, “I knew which street we were on because of the business card.”

Business not as usual

Tanya Meyer, the child’s day care provider in Baxter, said she arrived at Tower Motors to drop off her vehicle to be serviced and walked in as the boy was on the phone with the 911 dispatcher.

“Because she didn’t answer my text, I chose to walk in even though it was after business hours, and her son comes running out with the look of fear in his eyes,” Meyer said of the boy and his mom. “And I said, ‘Where’s Mom and Dad?’ and I heard the phone say, ‘Is there an adult with you now?’”

Meyer said she had a suspicion something was wrong when Allison Doyle did not reply to the text message the day care provider had sent earlier regarding the vehicle Meyer purchased.


“He handed me the phone and it was EMS,” Meyer said of stumbling upon the scene. “He went running out the door to my daughters and started bawling. That’s when they told me that he had just called 911, his mother was unconscious, she was shaking.”

Allison Doyle hugs son Kristopher Doyle Wednesday, Oct. 28, at Tower Motors in Brainerd. Kelly Humphrey / Brainerd Dispatch

Allison Doyle said her husband was away in Milaca on business that October evening, picking up a vehicle at the time.

“She saw Kristopher and how he was reacting. … She saw Kristopher the moment he finally melted when the stress of it just — when there was another adult finally there, so he no longer had to be that strong one,” Allison Doyle said of Meyer arriving at the scene.

Putnam said, “I stood there and talked to the day care lady first and was hugging the kids. And Kristopher was telling me what happened, and I was telling him how proud I was of him for calling 911 and whatnot.”

Allison Doyle was admitted to the hospital but discharged a relatively short time after she was transported there by ambulance.

“I was released really super late that evening, maybe around one in the morning,” Allison Doyle said. “My husband and kids came to pick me up and they were super excited, and I got the biggest hugs that I think I’ve ever gotten. … The smiles on their faces were just the greatest.”


Allison Doyle hugs son Kristopher Doyle (right) and daughter Jojo Doyle Wednesday, Oct. 28, at Tower Motors in Brainerd. Kelly Humphrey / Brainerd Dispatch

New perspective on life

Allison Doyle said she has had a couple of more seizures since the Oct. 9 incident at Tower Motors on Washington Street, but none as harrowing as her first one.

“I think the one thing this has taught my kids the most is the most important thing in life is having people there that love you and that are there to support you and to have a happy, healthy family,” Allison Doyle said.

Allison Doyle said since the Oct. 9 seizure her family has had movie nights together every night and tries to spend as much time together as a family.

“He’s still processing through it all. It’s still hard for him if I shut my eyes to rest. He still wants to make sure I’m breathing and make sure that I’m OK,” Allison Doyle said.

With Halloween here, Thanksgiving just ahead and Christmas around the corner, the wife and mother of two has a new perspective on life.

“It’s not all the stuff that we clutter our lives with … that empty, meaningless stuff,” Allison Doyle said. “It’s about being there for each other, like my son was there for me.”


FRANK LEE may be reached at 218-855-5863 or at . Follow him on Twitter at .

I cover the community of Wadena, Minn., and write features stories for the Wadena Pioneer Journal. The weekly newspaper is owned by Forum Communications Co.
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