Hero 911 Operator Meets Family She Helped Save

The dispatcher helped a mother and her child escape their van, which had crashed into a flooded creek and filled with water.

After a mother made a frantic 911 call while trapped inside a sinking vehicle with her 5-month-old child in Houston, she is finally meeting the woman who helped save her.  

As Tropical Storm Imelda inundated Houston, 19-year-old Rachel Cangemi and her 5-month old baby slid into a flooded creek and their van began sinking. 

“I thought I was going to die,” she told Inside Edition. “By the time I called 911, water was up to his head in the car seat and he's sitting there laughing at me!”

Dispatcher Tammy Parker took the 911 call. She asked the worried mother if she could unlock the doors, but Cangemi could not and water was filling into the van quite fast. 

“I want you to try and break a window. Do you have a hammer, a center punch or anything heavy and hard to break the window with?” Parker told the mom on the 911 call

Cangemi smashed the window of her van and water began pouring in.

“Clear all the glass out of the window opening. Ok, I want you to get out of the vehicle and swim to the nearest shore,” Parker instructed during the call. 

“She was actually very calm. You could tell that she was scared, panicked, and didn’t know what to do but she followed my instructions and stayed on the phone with me,” Parker told Inside Edition.

Inside Edition brought Cangemi and Parker together for the first time following the horrific ordeal. 

“Thank you a lot, you saved my life and my child's life,” Cangemi told Parker. “It means a lot. He’s my world.”

“You're very welcome!” Parker said.