Boy, 10, helped brother during seizure

Published: April 2, 2007 | 5906th good news item since 2003

Ten-year-old Michael Kelly loves superheroes, especially Superman.

When he and little brother Sean, 5, play in their backyard fort, the wooden structure becomes home of The Justice League and Michael is Superboy.

But on a recent Friday morning the Plymouth River Elementary School fifth-grader was called on to be a real-life hero.

Family, firefighters and teachers say he lived up to the task by making a 911 call that may have saved his brother’s life when Sean had trouble breathing during a seizure.

Yesterday morning, Michael was honored with commendations from the Hingham Fire Department and Plymouth River at an all-school assembly.

But how he got to that assembly was the real highlight of a big day – Michael was picked up at home and whisked to school on a Hingham fire truck, with Sean by his side.

‘‘I got so excited for today,’’ Michael said, breaking into a grin. ‘‘I got to sit in the back with Sean and there were three firefighters.’’

Once he got to school, Michael was the star of the day’s all-school assembly. His peers raised their arms and cheered as he accepted commendations from Deputy Fire Chief Robert Olsson and Principal Charles Cormier.

‘‘What Michael did was a lesson to all children that young people can empower themselves to do great things,’’ Cormier said. ‘‘This showed there are heroes in the world and they can be young people, they can be anyone in your school.’’

Fire Chief Mark Duff said Michael’s actions showed the importance of teaching safety awareness in schools. It wasn’t the first time the department commended a young person for their actions, he said, but they were happy to have Michael as the first to receive a fire engine ride to school.

As teachers stopped to pat Michael on the back and congratulate him, he retold the story of what happened that Friday morning.

The night before, Sean had fallen asleep in his big brother’s bed. Their dad, Jack Kelly, said rather than wake Sean, he let them sleep.

This turned out to be a good thing. When Michael woke up shortly before 6 a.m. the next day he noticed Sean was ‘‘breathing funny, like a weird snoring,’’ Michael said.

He tried to wake Sean, but the boy didn’t respond and was twitching. Michael quickly ran for his mother, Jane, who also could not revive Sean. She told Michael to call 911.

‘‘I was very frightened,’’ Michael recalled. ‘‘I thought he must have passed out.’’

Although he was nervous, Michael said he remembered what he learned from the school resource officer and his parents. He dialed 911, gave dispatchers all the information and directed paramedics when they arrived at the family’s Tower Brook Road home.

Sean was treated for the seizure at South Shore Hospital and is now doing fine, Jack Kelly said. He couldn’t be happier or more proud of Michael. He said he and his wife have taught the kids about using 911, but never thought they’d have to use it.

‘‘It’s nice to know Michael was able to handle a crisis situation and come through when his brother needed him the most,’’ Kelly said..

Published in Kids & Teens
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