A Nova Scotia family says they have a lot to be grateful for after their 9-year-old daughter called 911, helping to save her father’s life.

Two weeks ago, Anika Shay joined her father Bert as he was sawing and stacking wood at their home in Dartmouth.

“I started to get weak, couldn't hold the saw anymore,” says Bert. “I went in to the garage to sit down in the chair for a minute.”

Bert had a massive heart attack, and Anika was the only person around.

“The next thing I know is I hear him fall and I come over and I see him on the floor,” says Anika.

The shy girl doesn’t talk much, but fearing for her father’s life, Anika knew exactly what to do. She used her own cellphone to call her mom at work. She has asthma and her parents wanted to ensure she could always call them if she needed them.

“I answered it and it was my daughter saying, ‘Mommy, daddy is on the floor, you'd better come home,’ and pretty much hung up on me,” says Stephanie Hodges.

After hanging up the call with her mother, Anika called 911. Within minutes, police and paramedics arrived.

Anika was scared, but remained calm.

“I am so proud of her, so proud of her. She's amazing,” says Stephanie.

“I wouldn't be here, I am sure of it, if it wasn't for her,’ says Bert. “I don’t know what I’d do without her.”

Bert is now back home recovering; his guardian angel is never far from his side.

“So I am making sure he doesn't lift anything over five pounds or eating anything he's not supposed to eat,” says Anika.

Bert says it was a life-changing moment that's brought him and Anika even closer than before, and it underscores the importance of teaching young children how to dial 911 in an emergency.

With files from CTV Atlantic’s Kelland Sundahl