Four-year-old Elisha Powers, right, helped her dad, Shawn Powers, call EMS on Thursday when Powers injured his hand using a machete. Elisha had just learned how to dial 911 in case of an emergency. (Staff photo: Ryan McKenzie)
STOCKBRIDGE – Four-year-old Elisha Powers has proven that heroes come in all ages when she helped call 911 on Thursday afternoon after her father was severely injured while using a machete.
As with many Georgia residents, the Powers family faced a few downed tree branches in their yard after the recent wave of winter storms. To remove these branches and clear the brush for a pathway that he was working on, Elisha’s father, Shawn Powers, decided that he would use his machete to chop up the branches while his two daughters played in the yard nearby.
Shawn, who said that he had spent about an hour and a half sharpening the machete the night before, lost his focus for a second while chopping the branches. When he glanced back at his right hand, he saw blood gushing.
He then told his daughters that he had hurt himself and that he was going to look for help. After walking to two neighbors’ homes and not getting a response, Shawn considered the remaining option before him.
Elisha, who celebrated her fourth birthday on Monday, had just recently learned how to use the phone in case of an emergency and realized that her dad was badly injured.
“It was about two months ago when we taught her how to call 911 on our smartphones,” said mother Andrea Powers, who was at work at the time of the incident.
Since Shawn was incapable of using his hands, holding his right hand with his left one in an attempt to stop the bleeding, Elisha knew that she would have to carry out the safety contact procedure she had recently been taught.
“She was kind of freaking out so I had to walk her through it again,” said Shawn. “I could see in her face that she knew she had to do something.”
Despite a tense situation, Elisha was able to unlock the smartphone, dial 911 and hold the phone next to her dad’s ear as he spoke with emergency dispatch personnel.
After EMS arrived on the scene, Shawn was taken to Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta where doctors determined that he had cut through his radial artery and severed four tendons in his right hand. However, because the machete’s blade was remarkably acute after Shawn spent a good amount of time sharping it the night before, doctors said that the nerves were cut so sharply that they would be easy to reattach.
Had Elisha not helped to contact 911 in a timely manner, there is a high possibility that Shawn could have bled to death. He stated that he should recover full use of his hand within two to four months.