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Daughter of Polk County EMT called a hero for saving woman's life

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Posted at 11:35 PM, Jul 25, 2022

AUBURNDALE, Fla. — A Polk County girl is being hailed a hero for her quick thinking and training that saved a woman’s life.

Paisley Varner, 8, has always been a helper. Now she’s being called a hero.

“100% saved my life. Without her I honestly probably wouldn't be here right now,” said Autumn Simmons.

On July 18, Autumn Simmons was home with Paisley and her younger sister, when she had an epileptic seizure.

“The last thing I remember was opening the fridge and that was all I remember,” Simmons said.

“She fell on the floor sideways, she bit her tongue and blood and spit started coming out her mouth,” Paisley said.

Paisley immediately sprang into action, pushing the emergency button on her iPhone. She then called her dad, who is a Polk County Fire Rescue EMT, for more guidance.

“It was about three minutes until the fire department ambulance showed up. It definitely felt like a long time, whenever you’re listening to a call on the radio at your own house. Something that nobody expects to do,” Chris Varner said.

Paisley remained calm the entire time, even attending to her 5-year-old sister.

“He told me to roll her on her side and I was like she’s already on her side. I was like daddy if I had to, I will do CPR,” Paisley said.

The third grader learned how to give the lifesaving procedure after tagging along with her dad, when he was getting re-certified. He believes all children should be CPR trained.

“I feel very proud to know that even though I'm at work and her not being with me, not panicking, knowing what to do,” Varner said.

Though she didn’t have to use CPR this time, Paisley who hopes to follow in her dad’s footsteps when she grows up, is willing and able.