Heroes are all around us. You see them daily. They can be a member of the armed forces on active duty. They can be the veteran who served in days gone by. A hero is law enforcement official doing their duty to protect the streets of Eudora or the fire fighter who comes to save people, pets or belongings when flames arise. Occasionally, a hero can take the form of a ten year old boy who was in the right place at the right time.
Ronnie Middleton, a fifth grader at Eudora Elementary School, is one of those heroes.
This past June, while on vacation with his family, Ronnie, along with several other family members, went swimming shortly after arriving in Horseshoe Bend, Arkansas. After a long car ride, the rambunctious nature of kids got them into slight trouble. Ronnie received a timeout for his actions. While Ronnie was in timeout and being talked to by Jennifer Middleton, Ronnie’s mother, his cousins, Adin and Ava Curphey, ventured off into the deep end of the pool. The parents of the children called out for the cousins. Adin came to the side of the pool and was lectured about dangers of swimming in the deep end of the pool. Ava never appeared. While the parents were nervously looking for Ava, Ronnie spotted her face down, floating in the deep end. Ava was barely conscious. Before parents or other adults in the pool could even react, Ronnie jumped into the pool, grabbed Ava and brought her to safety at the side of the pool. Ava, after coughing up a large amount of water and being scared terribly, suffered no physical effects from what could have been a tragic situation. “Had Ronnie not acted faster, there is a good chance Ava would have drowned” according to Jennifer.
Ronnie’s story is even more amazing with the fact that Ronnie suffers from ADD and ADHD. Ronnie had a hard beginning to his life. Ronnie and his sister were in foster care until the age of 3. At 4 years old, Ronnie and his sister were adopted by Jennifer and Tim Middleton. Jennifer and Tim committed to bringing up a child with extra needs. “I was amazed, shocked and proud of him” Jennifer said, “Most adults in the pool at the time didn’t even notice Ava was having problems. Ronnie just reacted so fast.”
When asked what Ronnie was thinking when he saw his cousin drowning he said “Jump in the water, even if I do get in trouble”, referring to the timeout he had received.
For his actions, Ronnie was honored by the City Council and the Mayor at the City Council meeting this past Monday.
Ronnie received a plaque and official proclamation from the City, detailing the story and recognizing Ronnie for his actions in saving his cousin. Ronnie also got out of timeout.
Actions of heroes can be big or small. This is one action that Ronnie’s cousin Ava, her parents Christina and Todd and all of Ronnie’s family, will never forget and always be grateful for.