Fort Mill civilian, Benjamin Hudgins, is just like any seven year old boy, who teases his sister, plays football and video games. However, on March 26, he proved he was a true hero.
March 26 started out as an ordinary family movie night for the Hudgins. Hudgins, who at the time was six years old, with his father, Monty Hudgins, and little sister Ella, sat down to watch Astro Boy. Just as they sat down, Hudgins’s father began to have a seizure. This was a condition that he had developed as a result of a head injury. Hudgins exclaimed that these seizures only happen when he is asleep; however, they do weaken him.
Hudgins had been told by his parents about the seizures. Knowing something was not right, he took a foam swim noodle and hit his father. With no response from his dad, he decided to call his mother. His mother, in a dental conference in Atlanta, Georgia, attempted to call 9-1-1, but with no avail. So she called Hudgins back and told him to call 9-1-1.
Hudgins immediately called and calmly told the operators his address and medical information about his father. He gave the phone to his sister, Ella, to tell the operators what was going on while he answered the door to some neighbors.
“He kept his composure throughout the call,” his parents said when they listened to the 9-1-1 call which was recorded. However, the day after the incident, Hudgins was upset. His father remembers Hudgins asking him, “Daddy are you OK? Are you all right?”
For his courage and composure through the whole incident, Hudgins was awarded with the prestigious statewide 9-1-1 Child Hero award. This award comes from the S.C Association of Public Safety Communications Officials and the National Emergency Number Association.
York County Sheriff Bruce Bryant, who presented the award, said that Hudgins’s composure “saved his daddy’s life.” Hudgins “serves as an example to children as well as adults the proper use of 9-1-1” says a letter given to him by the York County Department of Public Safety Communications.
The award wasn’t the only thing he gained from his honorable deed. He was summoned to the library thinking his books were due; however, he was recognized for his courage. Two friends from his school even became his “body guards.”
The most important thing he learned from this experience was growing more aware about his father and everything around him. One day, Hudgins’s father was doing work in the yard, but Hudgins could not find him. He grabbed the car keys and set the alarm knowing that his father would come if he was all right. Hudgins was very impressed by his son’s caring and thoughtful personality and reaction. Now, every night, it is a responsibility of his to ask if his dad has taken his medicine.
Hudgins has not only shown how staying calm can save a person’s life, but also has set an example for everybody about courage and thoughtfulness.