Certificate recognizes 6-year-old’s good deed

Published 5:00 am Tuesday, April 24, 2007

A grandmother credits the quick thinking and actions of her6-year-old grandson for saving her life after she collapsed andbegan convulsing last week while the two were working in thegarden.

Debbie Reeves, of Enterprise, presented Cody Michael Thornhillwith a certificate, issued Monday by Brookhaven Mayor BobMassengill, commending the boy’s “heroic efforts” in providingemergency care to his grandmother. Reeves said she wanted to find away to officially recognize her grandson’s good deed.

“I’ll take care of you,” Thornhill said solemnly while acceptingthe award from his grandmother.

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Reeves and Thornhill, the son of Scott and Tami Thornhill, werealone in the yard Thursday laying bricks by the swimming pool andraking pine straw when Reeves suddenly fell to the ground andexperienced three consecutive seizures.

“Cody had never seen me have one, but we had told him if I everhad one to protect my head,” Reeves said.

Reeves and his mother had told him what a seizure was, Thornhillsaid, so he knew what to do.

“I wasn’t scared because I know not to be scared,” he said. “Iheld her head and told her to breath.”

Reeves said he had been told that she often forgets to breathduring a seizure and he coached her, saying “breath, mawmaw,breath.”

In a lull between seizures, Thornhill climbed a nearby tree tolook for help.

“I only saw one thing and that was the (neighbor’s) lawnmower,so I went to get help,” he said.

What he did before he left, however, still causes hisgrandmother to tear.

“He tore off a piece of bark from the tree, laid it on my chestand told me to hold onto it because it was going to keep me safeuntil he got back,” Reeves said.

Thornhill, who is not allowed to cross Harbor Lane, ran to theroad and saw Brian Reeves, an Enterprise Attendance Center seniorand no relation, mowing the lawn.

“I looked both ways and crossed to Brian,” he said.

As Thornhill and Brian Reeves returned to Debbie Reeves, BrianReeves used his cellular phone to call his mother, Joyce Reeves,who joined them moments later as Debbie Reeves had two moreseizures.

“They were coming like turning on a water faucet,” Debbie Reevessaid.

Realizing Debbie Reeves was lying in direct sun on a hot day,Thornhill went inside and brought out a blanket that they used tocarry her inside the house where it was cool.

“It was my idea,” he said proudly.

In all, Debbie Reeves said she experienced at least 15 seizuresfrom the onset around 2 p.m. that afternoon until she made it tothe hospital around 6 p.m.

She said the delay between the onset of the seizures and thehospital visit was because the seizures are medication-induced andshe wanted to see her doctor, who is in Hattiesburg.

She was being tapered off the medication when the seizures beganThursday and has since quit taking it. However, it will still be afew days before it is completely out of her system, she said. Inthe meantime, she is still susceptible to the seizures.

“Had Cody not been here, I don’t know what would have happened,”Debbie Reeves said.

Tami Thornhill said she was proud of her son, but was notsurprised by his actions.

“He’s always been level-headed,” she said. “He never getsoverexcited about stuff.”