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Quick-Thinking 7-Year-Old Pushes Button for Help

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When Kerry’s mother had a diabetic attack while driving, help was only a button-push away.

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When Kerry’s mother had a diabetic attack while driving, help was only a button-push away.

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Kerry MacLean smiles at the camera. She is missing several teeth and wearing a yellow shirt.

Originally published in 2009

Kerry MacLean and her 2-year-old sister were on the way to a family gathering on Mother’s Day when their mother, Patricia MacLean, suffered a sudden diabetic attack and began driving on the wrong side of the road.

The quick-thinking 7-year-old pushed the red Emergency button*16a and asked for help. The OnStar Advisor immediately contacted the police and pinpointed the exact location of the car for the responding officers — all while talking with Kerry to keep her calm, telling her to make sure the seat belts were fastened and that she was doing a good job.

Patricia was able to pull the car over and stop to wait for help. She is very glad Kerry’s grandmother taught the child how to use OnStar. “I’m so proud of Kerry and very thankful that OnStar is so easy to use and that the Advisor helped us through this,” Patricia says. “It was a Mother’s Day gift I’ll always remember.”

Kim Dupee, the Advisor who took Kerry’s call, says, “You really feel a sense of urgency for these children who need help. It really tugs at your heartstrings.” But, the mother of four says, “We make sure to stay calm and professional. We’re trained to locate the vehicle, get help as quickly as possible and try to reassure them — all while keeping our own cool. I’ve taken a number of calls from children and, once help has arrived, you just want to cry with joy.”