Many kids dream of being a hero. They see superheroes on television, and they would love to do the heroic things that the superheroes do. Some kids dream of standing up to a school bully or helping save a lost dog. Very few kids ever get to live out their fantasy of being a hero; however, Jerald got his chance.
Jerald was your average 11-year-old boy. He went to school, he did his homework, and on most Sundays, he watched his favorite football team, the Green Bay Packers, and he hoped for a victory. His only responsibilities at home were to keep his grades up and do his chores. He never expected his life to change when he took the bus home from school one day.
The Bus Ride
Jerald got on the bus after school one day in November when he saw something out the window. He looked closer and squinted, trying to get a better look at the scene before him. The guardrail was smashed as if a car had driven through it. He saw machinery scattered on the road by the guardrail. In a field down below, he saw a figure. He thought it might have been a deer and he wasn’t sure.
A Gut Feeling
Jerald knew that the scene on the side of the road wasn’t right so he ran down the aisle to tell the bus driver what he had seen. He told the bus driver what he saw. While the driver admitted that the scene was out of the ordinary, he refused to stop the bus. He had plenty of kids to drop off, and he just didn’t have the time to pull over to check on an injured deer. This boy spots strange shape near the road before making a move that has people calling him a hero.
Brandy is Jerald’s mother. Each day, when he got home from school, he would grab a snack and sit down in front of the TV for a while. On this day, something was off about her son. He was nervous and upset. He tried to tell his mother what he had seen while fighting back the tears. He feared the worst and Brandy was worried about her son.
Brandy knew that her son wasn’t the type to make things up. As he was telling his story, he became very emotional which convinced Brandy even more that her son really had seen something on the road. She decided to take his word for it and the two got into her car and drove back to the site. Jerald knew exactly where to go.
A Nerve-Wracking Drive
On the way to the site, Jerald began questioning himself. He wasn’t sure if what he saw was anything at all, but he knew that he couldn’t sit home and do nothing. Finally, they made it to the site. Brandy parked the car, and the two looked down toward the ditch. They walked down from the road toward the ditch and Brandy saw the remains of a motorcycle. She was sure that someone didn’t leave the motorcycle behind. Like Jerald, she knew right away that something was wrong.
As Brandy scanned the scene, she stopped when she saw someone lying in the dirt. It was the person who was driving the motorcycle. He still had his helmet on, but he wasn’t moving at all. Brandy didn’t want her son to see the motorcyclist, but it was too late. He grabbed Brandy’s phone, and he dialed 911.
When the paramedics arrived on the scene, they treated the man quickly. He was barely breathing. They were able to identify him as Billy McMahan. According to the doctors, had Jerald and Brandy not gone to the scene and called 911, Billy might have frozen to death overnight. Jerald was called a hero. A man who had never met the family gave Jerald tickets to a St. Louis Cardinals game for his heroic actions. The story spread around the country, and the Green Bay Packers send Jerald an autographed photo of his hero, Aaron Rodgers along with a box full of official Packers gear.
A True Hero
Jerald says that he doesn’t think that he is a hero. He says that anyone would have done the same thing. Brandy doesn’t believe that is true. She knows that her son is a hero. Had he not been so vigilant that day, Billy likely would have died. Jerald just says that he is happy that he was paying attention while he was on the bus.
Most kids live average lives. It isn’t often that a kid gets the chance to be a hero and save a life, but a boy named Jerald actually had the chance. He was riding home from school on the bus one day when he saw what looked like an accident scene. Down in a ditch, he saw a figure. He wasn’t sure if it was a man or an animal but he had to find out. When the bus driver refused to stop the bus and check out the scene, Jerald went home and told his mother what he had seen. His mother was sure that he saw something so they got in the car and headed to the scene.
When they arrived, they saw a man lying motionless. He was driving a motorcycle when he lost control of the bike and crashed. He wasn’t moving. Jerald called 911 on his mother’s phone, and help arrived. Jerald was told that had he not said anything, the man would have died.
Jerald received gifts from his favorite sports teams but saving a life was all the reward that the young boy needed.