Aiden1This week I’d like to introduce someone who is definitely making good use of a second chance.  This last Friday he hosted a hugely successful birthday party.  On Saturday he took his steer, Ford, to a cattle show in Osceola, and on Sunday he made his First Communion.

A little History:  Four years ago, Shar and I got one of those phone calls that starts off with “Don’t worry. Aiden is fine, but they’re going to keep him in the hospital overnight, just to be sure.”  You just know it’s time to take a deep breath and prepare yourself for a tearjerker.

Our youngest grandson, six year old Aiden, had been at the city swimming pool with his child care group while Mom and Dad were at work.  According to witnesses, he was pulled from the bottom of the pool.  By coincidence or good fortune, Mom was working at the hospital he was taken to.  His memory of the events may not match exactly what others had to say.

Four years later, and several weeks ago, Aiden’s fifth grade class was assigned to write an essay about someone they considered to be a hero.  His essay, after the spelling was cleaned up, won first prize in his level for the American Red Cross Heroes in the Heartland contest.  The award ceremony is April 10 at Prairie Meadows in Altoona, but Aiden said I could share his essay this week.


My Hero

By Aiden Pals

My hero is definitely the lifeguard at the city pool who saved me.  It was a nice day at the Indianola Pool and I was having a good time with my friends.  Their names were Alex and Logan.  First we were having a laugh at the shallow end where we were supposed to be. Now Logan and Alex were both about five feet tall, but I was only about 4 feet 5 inches tall.  Logan and Alex both wanted to go to the deep end of the pool.  So we went over to where the deep end of the pool was and they walked in perfectly with their heads above the water.  But me, I walked in and at first it was fine, but then… the drop.

Suddenly I heard a big loud horn and a splash in the water, and then I passed out.  The next thing I knew I was being carried into an ambulance.  A paramedic was saying “I know you’re tired but try to stay awake.”  I was really scared, so the paramedic told the driver to leave the lights and siren off while we rode to the hospital.  Then I was carried into a hospital on a gurney and I saw my Mom crying and my Dad was standing there by her.  When I woke up my Mom was there beside me on a table where I was laying down.  She said I had a lot of water in my lungs and that I should get some rest.  I felt pretty dizzy so that sounded good to me.

The next time I woke up I was in a regular hospital room and a whole bunch of my friends were there.  Pat, Gina, my Mom and Dad were all there around me.  Thanks to the lifeguard at the pool who saved me, I was okay.  I’m pretty sure his name was Sam.  Once I was better and out of the hospital I wrote him a letter.  I said I was very grateful for him and when I think of him I think of a nice guy who saved my life.  If he hadn’t saved me that day I wouldn’t be here now to be telling this story.  I thank him very much!


Aiden2Thank you, Aiden.  Congratulations on your work with Ford.  Congratulations on your First Communion.  Congratulations on your winning essay.  And Happy Birthday tomorrow.

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