Five-year-old Sarah MacMillan made the call that saved her mother's life Monday night.

The pre-schooler, who turned 5 today, quickly realized her mother, Linda MacMillan, a diabetic, was in serious trouble.

"I was 10 minutes away from death," MacMillan, 35, explained. "I had low blood sugar and my heart was beating really fast. I was either going to stroke out or my heart and lungs would stop and I'd have brain death."

Normal blood sugar levels are 80 to 120, MacMillan explained. Hers had dropped to 27.

"I test my blood sugar about 10 times (a day), maybe more," she said. "But I had high stress over the weekend with my little sister's wedding."

Just before 7:30 p.m. March 22, Peoria Police dispatcher Evan Green-wald received a 9-1-1 call from the little girl.

With a tiny, yet steady voice, Sarah told Green-wald she could not get her mommy to drink her coke.

"Is your mommy sick?" Greenwald asked.

"No," Sarah said. "She has diabetes."

Greenwald calmly told Sarah to stay on the phone line as he connected the call to the Phoenix Fire Department call center, which dispatches Peoria's fire department and other Valley agencies. While the fire unit and paramedics were en route, Sarah remained on the line.

Peoria Deputy Police Chief Karen Ashley said Sarah stayed calm throughout the ordeal, "and gave the dispatchers information they needed to provide her mother with medical care."

MacMillan was quickly transported to a local hospital. She was released the following day and is now resting at home.

"I remember we had pizza," MacMillan said from her Peoria apartment Tuesday afternoon. "We were sitting in the recliner to watch James and the Giant Peach. The next thing I know I was in the back of an ambulance."

Sarah, who learned about calling 9-1-1 from her parents and from her Peoria pre-school, knew her "mommy needed a coke," and brought one out to her.

"She knew mommy wasn't drinking, and I wasn't talking," MacMillan said. "We taught her that - what to do in an emergency."

MacMillan also credited the Peoria Unified School District for its pre-kindergarten program, which also instructed her daughter in using the 9-1-1 system.

For nearly 25 years, MacMillan has been dealing with her diabetes through diet, exercise and insulin.

She maintains her sugar levels daily with eight to 10 shots of insulin from a pump attached to her stomach. But stress, MacMillan said, probably played a factor in this case.

"Things can happen out of your control," Mac-Millan said of any emergency. "I've worked in emergency (rooms) long enough to know a lot of things can happen.You need to teach (children) 9-1-1."

Referring to Sarah as her "little surprise," Mac-Millan said most women with juvenile diabetes would not have a child because of the risk to the mother and the unborn baby.

"I had a little trouble in the beginning and I stayed home through the pregnancy," MacMillan said. "But I delivered her naturally at 38 weeks."

And now her "little surprise" is a hero.

On Wednesday, Peoria Police Chief David Leonardo presented Sarah with a certificate honoring her for her quick thinking. MacMillan and Sarah also thanked communications specialist Greenwald for his help during the emergency. 

Reach the reporter at (623) 847-4610.