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Nine-Year-Old Saves Mother’s Life

At the beginning of a school day May 23, Nicholas Seymour woke up by himself at 8 a.m. His mother, Melanie, usually woke him up and prepared him for school, but that morning she was missing.

"I thought something might be wrong," said Nicholas. "So I went downstairs and saw my mom passed out on the couch, sweating from head to toe."

Nicholas tried, unsuccessfully, to wake his mother, who suffers from Type I diabetes, but she wouldn't wake.

"There was stuff coming out of her mouth. I was really scared for her. I remembered the last time this happened, how I saw my dad helping her. I wasn't sure what to do, though, so I called 911."

With his adrenaline pumping, Nicholas doesn't remember what he told the 911 operator.

"I was just really, really scared," he said. "They asked so many questions. I remember them asking if she was unconscious and I said yes.

"Then military police and the Fort Polk Fire Department came and there were like 800 people in the house. I saw them coming in and hung up on 911 and took them to my mom."

Nicholas' little sister Devyn, 3, was fast asleep until the paramedics arrived. In a move befitting that of an older brother, Nicholas reassured his sister.

"I told her to sit on the couch by my mom and that everything would be OK."

The furniture was arranged in such a way that it was hard for the crew to get his mom out of the house on the gurney.

"They had to take the whole house apart to get my mom out," said Nicholas.

"One of the firemen took me up to my room and helped me get dressed and got my shoes on.

That's when our friends came over to watch us."

Melanie Seymour has suffered from Type I diabetes since she was 10 years old. Though usually controlled by insulin, there have been a few times in her life when she has become unexpectedly comatose because of low blood sugar.

"This has happened before," she said. "But my husband (Sgt. Eric Seymour) was always at home.

He usually gave me orange juice or sugar and I'd be fine."

Unfortunately, this day, Seymour was deployed in Afghanistan and could do nothing to help.

"Nick did exactly what we had trained him to do. We're incredibly proud of him. He kept his head, kept calm," she said.

"I was sergeant of the guard duty in Barak, Afghanistan that night. It was approaching midnight. I called home as I often do when I was up late so I could check on the kids and my wife," said Sgt. Eric Seymour.

" Instead of my Family answering the phone, our neighbor, Ines Alonzo, answered. I hadn't met her before " I deployed before she moved next door " but she explained what had happened. She said Melanie was in the hospital but that she was OK and that she was taking care of the kids. She offered to contact our regular babysitter."

After that phone call, Seymour immediately called Bayne Jones Army Community Hospital, where Melanie had been taken.

"Mel assured me she was OK but to call the babysitter, Natalie. Natalie Jennings and her husband, Staff Sgt. Jason Jennings, are really good friends of ours and always took good care of the kids.

"Everyone was Johnny-on-the-Spot. Ines, Natalie and our neighbor Angel, who took care of the kids as well, were so supportive. They reassured me and told me not to worry."

After the concerned phone calls were over, Seymour spoke with his acting first sergeant and told him about the situation.

"He told me if I needed to go home, I'd go home. But Melanie wanted me to finish what I started. She told me to worry about staying safe so I could get home as soon as my deployment ended."

Seymour didn't have long to wait. He was injured in Mohmand, Afghanistan when a berm " an artificial embankment " slid on him and he broke his ankle.

"I was able to go home after that. I arrived home on July 4.

"My heart was in my throat the whole time. My coming home was a surprise to the kids. They had no idea."

Nicholas gave his father a big, long hug as his father cradled his head.

"I just couldn't be prouder of him," said Seymour. "He handled the situation a lot better than I did when it first happened for me after Mel and I were married.

"I absolutely believe he saved my wife's life. But that's just who he is. He always does stuff to help others. He's extremely kind-hearted. He always thinks of other people before himself. And he's incredibly smart. When he was 5 he programmed the home satellite. None of us could figure it out. He did whatever it is he did and said 'here you go.' I couldn't help but laugh."

Natalie Jennings, who babysat for Melanie while she was in the hospital, is proud of Nicholas, too.

"He's a hero. For Nicholas to be so young and know what to do, and to remain calm and collected like he did: It is absolutely amazing."

Devyn agrees.

"Even though he's bossy, he saved my mom's life," she said.

Nicholas was honored for his actions during a ceremony at the Army Airfield Fire Station on July 23.

"I thought the ceremony was for my dad. I was in disbelief when I found out it was for me."

Nicholas was honored by Fire Chief Michael Kuk with a certificate declaring him an honorary fireman for the day; a coin from Maj. Macedonio Molina; and a toy fire truck.

"We're going to get a shadowbox and put all that he was given and display it proudly so we're reminded every day of what he did for us," said Melanie.

With the honesty of a 9-year-old, Nick is upfront about his actions that day.

"I'm a hero," he said, " because I saved my mom's life."

Nick's grandfather passed away recently, and Nick is sure that his grandpa in heaven is proud of him.

"He was always one of Nicholas' biggest fans," said Melanie.

As to what he wants to be when he grows up, Nicholas has a long list.

"I've been thinking of a lot of things, because I can't think of just one. I want to be a meteorologist, a Marine Corps scout sniper, a professional wrestler and a baseball player."

"We'll narrow it down in the next 10 years," said his father.

"Nicholas takes protecting his family and being the man of the house when dad's away very seriously," said his mother. "He gave me the ultimate gift: My life. I got to come home safe and sound and be with my family because of him."

 

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