Son Turns Hero In Moment Of Crisis


Son Turns Hero In Moment Of Crisis

Woodbury Grammar School sixth-grader Cole Barnes wasn't in school Tuesday. That's because he had been on a life-saving mission the night before.

The life he saved was his mother's.

Late Monday night, Cole was in bed when his mom, Tammy Barnes, came to him with an urgent plea.

"Mom told me to get up and get my clothes on, we had to go to the hospital," Cole said. "I said how come and she said I just have to go, and then she collapsed.

"That was the scariest moment of my life," Cole said.

But the young Cub did not let his fear of the situation keep him from leaping into action. He immediately grabbed the phone and did something he had never done before — call 911.

"I called 911 and told them my mom is passed out on the floor and we need help now," Cole said. "They asked what my address was and my name and I told them and they said someone was coming and to stay on the phone.

"I went and turned on all of our outside lights and all the lights in the house and waited for the ambulance to get here. They passed the turn to the road to our house two times but I was finally able to tell them over the radio (through the dispatcher) where the turn was and they drove the ambulance down to our house."

Because of where the Barnes live, a wooden bridge over a creek leads into their driveway, and the ambulance was not able to cross it to get close to the house. Once ambulance personnel got into the house, they carried Tammy outside, put her on a stretcher, and wheeled her over the bridge and out to the ambulance.

Then, with Cole riding shotgun, they took off for Middle Tennessee Medical Center in Murfreesboro.

"It seemed like they were going 80 all the way to Murfreesboro," Cole said. "We got there fast."

Following an examination at the hospital, it was determined Tammy was suffering from acute appendicitis, and she underwent emergency surgery.

"They took her for a CAT scan and about 15 or 20 minutes after putting her back in the examination room they came in and said she had acute appendicitis on the verge of rupturing," Cole said.

It was only after Cole had made sure his mom was going to be OK, around 3 a.m. Tuesday, that he decided it was time to contact other family members.

"He said 'what do I do, what do I do, who do I call,' " Tammy said. "Then he said 'OK, I'm calling grandpa and grandma' (who live in Murfreesboro)."

Cole said the worst part of the experience after the initial scare was waiting while his mom was in surgery, and getting stuck in the hospital's elevators on three different occasions.

Tammy, a single mom who works at Potter's ACE Hardware, said she is sure she would not have survived were it not for her son's quick and confident actions Monday night, and she's not the only one.

"The ambulance people, the nurses at the hospital and the doctors all said that he was a hero for what he did, and that I probably would not have made it had I not gotten to the hospital as soon as I did," Tammy said. "I thank God he was there, or I might not be here now."

Tammy related another event which occurred during the episode which demonstrated how much in control her son had of the situation.

"He had enough wits about him to give the dog extra food and water when he left the house to get into the ambulance," Tammy said. "He was thinking the entire time. I've always been proud of Cole, but never as much as today. He'll always be a hero to me."