Kodiak teen honored with prestigious Lifesaving Award following 2016 emergency

Published: Mar. 13, 2017 at 2:46 PM AKDT
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For a family in Kodiak, a regular chore turned into an emergency a few months back, until a Girl Scout went into crisis management mode.

That scout, Krista Simpler, was recognized for her efforts earlier this month with a Girl Scouts of America Lifesaving Award, an honor bestowed upon just 33 scouts throughout 2016 and 37 the year before that.

"I feel really, really honored," said the 13-year-old Simpler. "It didn't feel like that big of a deal, because doctors do this every single day. There are people who do that and don't get recognized for it. So I was really surprised."

It was back in 2016, when she was 12, that Krista's father Brett was doing dishes in their Alaska home. Dish after dish was washed. No problem.

But when Brett opened up a cupboard to put away a newly-cleaned plate, a ceramic mug fell out and crashed into a glass bowl, shattering the bowl and slicing Brett's wrist open.

"Everything just shattered, in a heartbeat," Brett said. "And I looked at my wrist and it had been sliced open by one of the pieces of glass that went flying everywhere.

"All I know is that it was gushing like nothing I've ever been around," he said.

That's when Krista, who's been a Girl Scout since she was five years old, sprang into action.

"My other daughter was running around absolutely panic-stricken," Brett said. "I'm just like, 'Oh boy!' So Krista was also calming her sister down."

Krista said she wasn't sure if her dad had been seriously injured or if it was just a bad nick.

"You couldn't tell at first," she said, "but then all of a sudden, it just started bleeding and bleeding and bleeding."

When her dad's wrist wouldn't stop bleeding, Krista used some of her first aid skills to help before they could get to the hospital, cleaning the cut, layering paper towels together and applying pressure to the wound while also attempting to keep everyone in the house calm.

"She just said, 'Dad, I'm going to do this for you,'" Brett said.

When her mom was stuck in a meeting and unable to answer, Krista reached out to other family members.

"My hand was shaking when I was calling," she said. "All of my crazy freaking out was in my hands instead of the rest of my body."

She wasn't getting a response from anyone, but then her grandmother finally picked up and was able to drive to the hospital. In the end, Brett only needed a few stitches, but said the gash was "horrible," and that he was impressed with his daughter's calm demeanor during the event.

"She acted on her feet and stayed calm, and that was awesome," Brett said. "She was trying to coach me. I was a little out there, a little out of it.

"But she kept us all on track," he said. "I'm very proud."