Illinois Tollway member Robert Koval’s four-year-old daughter, Aria, is being hailed as a local hero after her quick thinking likely saved her mom’s life.
On Friday, March 10, Robert’s wife, Sue, called Robert to tell him that she was having trouble breathing. Moments later, she suffered a severe asthma attack and passed out while she was home with Aria.
Doing exactly what her parents showed her, Aria called 911 and waited for the police to arrive. After seeing the police car pull up in front of their building, she walked down the stairs and led the officers into her home.
“Since I work the overnight shift and Aria is home alone with her mom, I taught her what to do in case of an emergency,” said Robert, who has worked at the Tollway for eight years.
In a previous interview with ABC Channel 7, Chicago Police Officer Anne Belluomini, who was one of the officers on the scene, called Aria a hero. “It’s amazing that a 4 year-old could call 911 and be so calm and get help here for her mother,” said Officer Belluomini. “We’re convinced that if she didn’t do that, we don’t know what would’ve happened to her mother. She’s really a hero.”
Robert says his wife is recovering and is feeling good and Aria was excited to tell her friends at school about what she did.
“I congratulate Aria’s parents for having the insight to teach her how to call for help,” said Teamsters Local 700 President Becky Strzechowski. “I admire how brave she was in the moment and all of us at Local 700 are glad this story has a happy ending.”