Girl's rescuers receive thanks
A year after she nearly died from an accidental hanging while playing with a friend, 7-year-old Kaileah Esser met with her rescuers Tuesday. Those who responded from the Crow Wing County Sheriff's Office, North Memorial Ambulance and North Memori...
A year after she nearly died from an accidental hanging while playing with a friend, 7-year-old Kaileah Esser met with her rescuers Tuesday.
Those who responded from the Crow Wing County Sheriff's Office, North Memorial Ambulance and North Memorial Air Care celebrated Kaileah's successful recovery at North Memorial's hangar at the Brainerd Lakes Regional Airport.
The Esser family shared their story with the Brainerd Dispatch in July of 2015. What began as playing among Kaileah, brother Camden and two of their friends almost turned tragic when Kaileah accidentally became entangled in bathrobe ties in her closet.
"When you shut my closet, it gets really, really dark," Kaileah, also known as Lala to her mother, said last year. "And I must have got tangled up in the rope. I tried to open the door and grab my grip and get back on there, the shelf, and I couldn't get up or anything. And that's all I remember. I tried to open the door and I was unconscious."
Kaileah's parents, Paul and Crisi Esser, worked quickly to help the girl breathe again while Kaileah's older sister Kelli Allison called 911. Emergency responders arrived soon after, calling for a helicopter to transport Kaileah to Robbinsdale.
The next 24 hours were some of the hardest the family ever experienced.
"I've never seen Paul cry," Crisi said last year. "I think that's what scared me more than worrying about Leah in the moment, because he's always been the really solid one."
"It's definitely a parent's worst nightmare, just to be staring at her while she's in the hospital bed, not knowing if she's ever going to open her eyes again or if I'll ever see her smile or hear her voice," Paul added.
After a tortured night of unanswered questions, an MRI scan performed the next day returned almost unbelievable news: Kaileah suffered no brain damage from the accidental hanging.
Just three days after she first arrived, Kaileah was on her way home-awake, talkative and upset she missed a field trip.
Crisi said Tuesday she was grateful for the professionalism of the responders and appreciated the gathering, which gave her family the opportunity to thank those whose quick action helped save Kaileah.
Visit www.brainerddispatch.com/news/3783781-love-lala to read the original story of Kaileah Esser's accident.
CHELSEY PERKINS may be reached at 218-855-5874 or email@example.com . Follow on Twitter at www.twitter.com/DispatchChelsey .