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Toddler walks two blocks to reach medical help for her father

By the CNN Wire Staff
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3-year-old hero saves dad
  • 3-year-old walks to a fire station after her father collapses
  • Her family had been teaching her about safe places in their community
  • Doctors say the father would have died without prompt care

Read more about this story at CNN affiliate KOVR.

(CNN) -- Alesaundra Tafoya's parents have been teaching their daughter about safety in their Northern California community, pointing out such safe havens as fire stations if she ever finds herself in trouble.

They weren't, however, expecting 3-year-old Alesaundra to call upon those lessons when one of them needed help -- but that's exactly what she did Friday when her father collapsed in their Manteca, California, home.

Frank Tafoya told CNN affiliate KOVR that he "took a mixture of medication I wasn't supposed to at the time -- a bed-time dose -- and I guess I collapsed."

Alesaundra did exactly what she was taught -- walking two blocks to reach Fire Station 243, a firehouse the family passes daily.

Once there, she told firefighters that her dad was "frozen" and wouldn't wake up, according to KOVR.

"I've been here over 20 years," Capt. Robert Villalovoz said. "It's the first time I've had a 3-year-old walk up to the fire station."

Alesaundra then escorted rescuers back to her house, where her father was "sitting in the living room, needing medical care," Villalovoz said.

Doctors told KOVR that without the prompt medical attention, Frank Tafoya would have died.

"She's been listening," her mother said Saturday. "What we've been teaching her she's been listening and that's good."