This weekend, a young local will receive a Girl Scouts Medal of Honor. The award recognizes those who have been part of a life-saving effort, and last year only 30 Girl Scouts earned the prize nationwide.
At a Girl Scouts Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics, or STEM, event Saturday, 13-year-old Krista Simpler will take home the medal. Krista has been a Girl Scout since she was 5, and she tapped into some of the group’s first aid training one night when her father, Brett Simpler, suffered an accident.
She explains she and her father were putting dishes away, and a mug fell when he opened a cabinet. It crashed down into the wet dishes below and her father sustained a cut across a major vein in his wrist somewhere along the way.
“He was bleeding a lot, and my sister started going crazy. She was so freaked out, but she’s a lot younger, so I can understand about that. And so, my dad – we were both in shock, just like ‘Dad, you’re bleeding pretty bad.’”
Krista says she was worried he’d pass out and tried to help stop the flow of blood with towels. She knew he needed to go the emergency room and tried calling her mom, who was out of the house, but she didn’t pick up.
Krista then tried getting in touch with her grandparents.
“I called their home phone and, luckily, my grandma was home, but my grandpa was at a meeting, and they have a truck, but it’s really big and it’s really hard to figure out how to drive, and she’s never driven it before, so she said she could walk down since she lives really close.”
But her dad was losing blood fast, and Krista says he decided to drive himself, which he tried to do once she helped him get dressed. He made it a short distance before Krista’s grandmother appeared and he stopped so she could take the wheel.
Krista says she and her sister waited at home for their mother to get back, and they eventually went to the hospital to reunite their dad, who had gotten stitches, and was otherwise alright.
Looking back at it, Brett says Krista kept calm the entire time.
“And I think I was a little bit in shock. My decision making wasn’t that great. I was kinda focused on just stopping the bleeding, but Krista was right there by my side able to get me whatever she thought I needed.”
Krista says her first aid training with the Girl Scouts helped steady her nerves and give her the confidence to take care of her father.
The Girl Scouts will recognize her for her courage at the event Saturday, which will include hands-on activities and workshops with those in STEM fields. The presentation of the Medal of Honor will begin a little after noon.