Grandma Says..

Observations and views from a different set of eyes

Goodbye To A Hero


Mike Patterson, his wife and three children

On June 8, Mike Patterson was enjoying an afternoon with his nine-year old son on the shores of Euharlee, Creek in Rockport Ga.  The 43 year old spotted a toddler drowning in the swimming hole and, without hesitation, dived in to save the small child.

He succeeded but suffered a severe neck injury and was found unconscious and drowning in the water moments after rescuing the small child.  He had broken his neck in three separate places as he had dived into a shallow area of the swimming hole head first.  He has spent the days following his heroic act in the Intensive Care Unit of a nearby hospital, paralyzed and battling pneumonia caused by the water in his lungs.

Today, Mike Patterson lost the battle and died from his injuries.  So, now we have to say good-bye to a good samaritan who selflessly gave his life to save another.  Let us remember him and send our prayers to his family and loved ones. May his sons always remember and respect their father for the Hero he was.

R.I.P. Mike..You lost the battle but you saved the day.

A fund has been set up in Mike’s memory to defray the medical costs and family expenses for Mike’s surviving family.  You can get more information here:

Friends Of Mike Patterson


A Fallen Hero


“Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift.”

Tyler Ziegel

1982 – 2012

U.S. Marine Sgt. Tyler (Ty) Ziegel lived by these words.

Horribly disfigured by a suicide bombing attack while he was serving in Iraq, Ty returned home to serve as an example for other wounded veterans. He had lost a hand, fingers and part of his skull, and his face was unrecognizable. But, he carried on with a determination and sense of humor which earned him respect by all who were lucky enough to meet him.

When children asked him, “What happened to your nose?”, Ty would reply “The bad guys took it.” Family members stated that he was open and honest to everyone about his time in Iraq and his injuries.

He was brought to national attention when he married his high school sweetheart, Renee. Sadly, Ty suffered from severe PTSD and the marriage ended. The two remained friends and Ty was grateful that Renee had been at his side during the multiple surguries he suffered through.

Ty passed away on December 26, 2012. Following his death, volunteers lined the streets of his hometown with 2000 American Flags to honor him. His loss will be felt by his family, his friends, his fellow veterans and by the nation. Please take a moment to say a prayer for Ty and for all wounded veterans!

We’ve got your 6, Ty….rest in peace.

Author’s note:  This man’s story touched me deeply and I wanted to repost this as my original post was published during my first days blogging on WordPress.  I am also adding the following video which is the result of Larry Eckhardt’s efforts to pay homage to this fallen hero.


Doing It Right

You’re standing at a checkout counter.  A distraught woman rushes up for help with her two-year old toddler; the child has stopped breathing.  Would you know what to do?  Well, Rowan O’Neill did.  After failed attempts to clear her airway, he put the child on the counter, performed CPR and saved the child’s life.

There is no doubt that this man is a hero for stepping up to the plate.  He deserves all the respect and praise that is coming his way.  Hopefully, every one of us would have jumped in to help this young child…but would we have done what’s right?

The concern I have when I watch this video is the procedure used to try to clear a child’s airway. When a child is choking you never turn them upside down.  You need to administer 5 back blows to the victim while they are standing or sitting.  Turning them upside down could just further lodge whatever is blocking the airway.  If that fails, then you attempt the Heimlich maneuver to try to clear the airway.

O’Neill was quite correct to assume that the child was not breathing due to choking..and he was correct in trying to clear a possible blockage.  O’Neill then moved on to the CPR that most likely saved the child’s life.  I was most impressed as I watched O’Neill used a short, quick breathing technique that some people are not aware of. O’Neill appeared on “A Current Affair” and stated:

“I jammed my finger into her throat, and pulled her mouth open.  We just started giving CPR, short small breaths because she’s only got little lungs. Eventually, you just saw the flicker come back into her eyes.”

Some people would not have known how to properly administer mouth-to-mouth resuscitation to a small child; luckily O’Neill did.  The procedure for chest compressions also differ when performing them on a child versus an adult.  Care must be taken to do more good than harm when performing CPR.  Kudos to O’Neill for having that knowledge.

But, faced with the same situation, would we know how to properly administer CPR to a child?  Would we be able to do it right?  The only sure way is to take a CPR class that covers both children and adults..there are many of them out there.  At the very least, there are a multitude of videos out there that show the proper techniques.

You might not have kids and don’t think you’ll need that information, until someone places a dying child in your arms and pleads for your help.  Be a hero and learn how to do CPR the right way.  You too could save a child’s life.

Now, don’t adjust your sound..there is none.  This is a surveillance video of the event that occurred.  Watch a hero in action!

You can read the story of the Supermarket Hero by clicking here.


Little Heroes with Big Hearts

I was feeling down and went traveling through the Internet highway in search of something to cheer me up. I don’t know how I stumbled into the “My Hero Project”, but was very glad I did. I found a lot of little heroes with big hearts who did big things.

This is Alexandra Scott, who was diagnosed with cancer before the age of one. She wanted to help other children with cancer so she opened a Lemonade Stand to raise money for cancer research. She was four years old when she opened her first stand but managed to raise $2000 in the first year. People heard of Alex’s lemonade stand and joined her cause by opening more stands to raise money for cancer research. Before she passed away at the age of eight, she had raised a total of $700,000 which was just short of her goal of one million. But, her cause is carried on by others in the Alex’s Lemonade Foundation, which has raised millions over the years for childhood cancer research.

Her foundation’s goal is the same as the day Alex started her first lemonade stand. They fight childhood cancer, one cup of Lemonade at a time.

And, this is Anthony D. Leanna, who at the age of ten, spent a lot of time in the hospital with his grandmother who was battling breast cancer. Anthony noticed that many of the patients on the floor had no hair, so he decided to start a community project called “Heavenly Hats.” He started this project in 2001 when he was ten years old. He held hat drives and drove through communities collecting brand new hats for cancer patients and patients who have lost their hair due to medical treatments. “I wanted to provide comfort, warmth and kindness to people who were going through a rough time,” he said. His foundation has raised over 1,200,000 hats for patients since then.

In the words of one of the patients, “The hats you sent me not only brightened my day, they brightened my life.”

Now meet Brandon Keefe, who overheard a conversation his mother was having about the lack of a library in a local home for orphans. He went home and thought about the books he had outgrown and he knew his friends had some too. He went to school the next day and began a book drive and he collected 847 books. Local volunteers helped catalog the books and the Rotary Club donated shelves, tables and chairs. The orphans now had a library.

But, Brandon didn’t stop there. He went on to organize another book drive when he entered the seventh grade. That drive collected over 5000 books, too many for the small library in the orphanage to handle. So, he found a local public school who had pine cones instead of books on their shelves. After receiving the books from Brandon and his volunteers, the principal of that school started to spread Brandon’s idea though-out the Los Angeles School District as a method to fill school libraries.

In Brandon’s humble words, “It’s great to know you made a difference and things are going to change because of what you’ve done.”

There are many more wonderful stories on the “The My Hero Project” website. If you’re ever feeling down and need someone to inspire you, visit this website and meet some more little heroes with great big hearts. You’ll be surprised at how many are there for you to meet.  

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