9-Year-Old Calls 911 From Hotel to Save Mom's Life but Phone Won't Work

hotel phoneUgh. This is so tragic, you probably won't be able to stop thinking about it all day long.

When her mother, Kari Dunn, was brutally stabbed inside a hotel bathroom room at a Baymont Inn hotel in Texas, a 9-year-old girl tried calling 911 four times -- but she couldn't get through because you have to dial a "9" before making outgoing calls from this particular property.

The poor girl could hear her mother dying in the bathroom, and she and her other siblings finally ran into the hallway and had someone else call 911 for them.

Kari sadly passed away from her injuries. And now her father, Hank Hunt, is petitioning to get a law passed that would require hotels and motels to upgrade their phone systems so guests could call 911 without having to dial any additional numbers beforehand.

And all I can think about is that poor little girl who desperately tried to get her mother the help she needed -- all while doing exactly what she'd been taught to do in the event of an emergency. Can you even imagine how frustrated and panicked she must have felt to hear nothing but static on the other end of the line instead of an operator who would send help?!?

There's no way of knowing for sure whether Kari's life could have been saved if help had arrived much sooner -- but I'm sure it's a question that wil haunt this child as she grows up ... probably for the rest of her life. Hopefully her family will do everything they can to reassure her that she did the right thing, and that there's nothing else she could've possibly tried to save her mom in that horrible moment.

For her sake, and that of future kids who might find themselves in the same situation, I sincerely hope this law gets passed. Teaching our children how to handle scary situations is a must. But things like calling 911 need to be universal no matter where they are so something like this does not happen again.

Does your child know how to call 911? 


Image via (vincent dejardins)/Flickr

girls, safety, death


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MamaH... MamaHasWings

How tragic. This little girl's mom would be proud of her for keeping calm and calling 9/11. It is a prehistoric thing that hotels/motel require you to dial a number before placing a call. Hopefully something will be done to prevent more deaths.

nonmember avatar Tia

So tragic! I feel for them babies that have to go on without their mommy! My 9yr old knows how to call 911 I taught her when she was 5 because I have chronic asthma although I have never had to have her use it. My 3yr old is a little to young although she does know how to call my husband and my mom if I need her to

teddy... teddysmama09

This made my heart sink. I can't even imagine the heart pounding fear that poor child must have experienced when she couldn't get through to the dispatcher. 

Robbi Lynn Cross

Thank you for sharing our story. Kari was my niece. The kids were running up and down the hall looking for help - from the hotel staff, from people in other rooms, etc. Finally the couple in the next room opened the door and she told them "I think my daddy is killing my momma." I'll never forget the look on her face as she was telling us how she trying to get help. Breaks my heart.

Ally Swarrow

So the phone DID work? Please work on your misleading titles

Vanessa Fasanella

@Ally Swarrow. Technically the phone did work, but since you had to dial 9+number to get an outside line, the child could not possibly understand this.


@MamaHasWings. It's 9-1-1 for emergency, 9/11 is September 11, 2001.

Hank Hunt

Mary, I look around in amazement at where this story has gone and who has taken it upon themselves to get the word out about it. I can't tell you how much I appreciate you doing just that! This was very hard to go through and I wish it upon no one. Thank you so much for your help. Hank (Kari's Dad)

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