Massachusetts girl, 9, saves family from carbon monoxide poisoning

Jayline Barbosa Brandão is being hailed as a hero after unlocking her father's phone with his face to save her whole family last month.

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A 9-year-old girl is being hailed as a hero after using her father’s phone to save her family from carbon monoxide poisoning. 

When storms last month swept through Brockton, Massachusetts, Jayline Barbosa Brandão’s home lost power, and her family used a borrowed generator to keep their home warm. 

Nine-year-old Jayline Barbosa Brandão is being hailed as a hero after using her father’s phone to save her family from carbon monoxide poisoning last month. (Photo: Screenshot/Boston 25)

The girl was in bed on Oct. 28 when she heard her father yelling that her mother had passed out. Young Jayline ran into her parent’s room shortly before her father also fainted. She used his face to unlock his phone, and she called 911. 

Five people were subsequently taken to an area hospital as a near-fatal amount of the odorless gas seeped from the generator. All five were conscious as they were being transported, with the 9-year-old to thank. 

Firefighters measured the emission at over 1,000 parts per million. According to Boston 25 News, levels that high can be fatal, depending on how long someone is exposed. At sustained CO concentrations above 150 to 200 ppm, things like disorientation, unconsciousness and even death are possible, according to The Consumer Products Safety Commission. 

Generators should never be used inside a home, only outside, and at least 10 feet away from a house. Brandão’s family had used their generator near the back door, outside their home, only for a short period, they noted. The night of their poisoning, the family had unplugged it and brought it indoors for safekeeping. 

Jayline’s mother believes her daughter saved her life. “Oh yes,” Marcelina Brandão said, “she did. I wouldn’t be here if she wasn’t in the house.” 

After calling 911, Jayline took her 7-year-old sister to a neighbor’s home to get help.

“She was so smart,” Brandão said. “That was very scary. If it wasn’t (for) her to call right away, I don’t know what would have happened.”

The Consumer Products Safety Commission notes that on average, about 170 people in the U.S. are killed from carbon monoxide poisoning from consumer products, including fuel-burning appliances such as furnaces, ranges, water heaters and room heaters, not mention engine-powered equipment such as portable generators, fireplaces and charcoal that is burned in homes and other enclosed areas.

Many of those deaths occur after extreme weather events. According to CNN, about 20 cases of carbon monoxide poisoning were reported to the Brockton Fire Department in the wake of the nor’easter storm that swept through the area late last month. 

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