‘Angel’ boys respond to family crisis

Published 12:00 am Thursday, August 10, 2000

Features Editor

Aug. 10, 2000 8 p.m.

Every grandmother believes her "babies" are little angels. But there is little doubt in the mind of Patricia Jordan that her two grandsons were sent straight from heaven.

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They came running through her back door and found her lying unconscious on the bathroom floor. At first, Patrick Byrd, 5, thought Maw Maw was asleep but, when he rubbed her on the head, she didn’t respond. He ran home for his brother Andrew, 7, and together they pushed her on the back and tried to get her up.

Only a week earlier Mrs. Jordan had suffered a heart attack, her fourth in about five years. Had it not been for the heroic action of a co-worker, Vernon Williams, she would have died on the floor of Miltope when she had her first attack in 1996.

Andrew and Patrick knew their grandmother was not well but they didn’t realize her life might lie in the balance on that bathroom floor.

Just how the boys would have responded had the telephone not rung, no one knows. How they responded afterward, makes their Maw Maw mighty proud.

The ringing of the telephone distracted the boys from their pushing attempts to wake their grandmother.

Patrick answered the telephone and told his aunt, Jennifer, who was calling from Springhill to check on her mother, "Maw Maw’s asleep on the bathroom floor."

Jennifer Daniels knew her mother was not asleep so she instructed the young boy to run next door and get his mother.

Paula Byrd had just gotten home from work and was unloading groceries. She ran in the back door and saw her mother lying on the floor. She grabbed the telephone and ran out the front door.

"I saw her lying there and I thought she was dead," Mrs. Byrd said, "I just couldn’t go in there. I don’t know why. I just couldn’t"

After Mrs. Jordan’s most recent heart attack, the family had been told the next one "could take her out."

It was her first day at home alone and her daughter thought the worst. She frantically dialed for emergency assistance but couldn’t go inside the house to her mother.

"I wanted to but I couldn’t," Mrs. Byrd said. "I was too afraid. I just stood outside hoping the paramedics would get there soon."

While their mother was outside hoping and praying, Andrew and Patrick were inside with their grandmother.

Fortunately, their grandfather came home early from work. He immediately went inside and found Mrs. Jordan "beginning to come around." He got her to her feet and to the sofa and that’s when her daughter came inside.

Within 22 minutes after Mrs. Byrd called, the paramedics arrived and transported her mother to Edge Regional Medical Center where it was determined that she had not suffered a heart attack. Rather the medication she was taking had

caused her potassium to "bottom out."

"We were so relieved," Mrs. Byrd said."We were so afraid it was another heart attack and that we could lose her."

If her sons were afraid, they didn’t show it. Not only did they go to their Maw Maw when they saw her down, they stayed with her and put "wet rags" on her head until the paramedics arrived and they knew she was in good hands.

"They were so brave through it all," Mrs. Jordan said. "They stuck by me. I was so proud of them. They tried to help me and look after me. They were just little angels. They’ll always be my angel boys."