I can’t say enough about the pride I have in the heroes who serve us as first responders in Lowndes County. In case you didn’t hear, our local heroes have saved the lives of two children – two little babies- each had their hearts stop in separate accidents.
On March 28th, 3-year-old Russell Humbers nearly drowned in a family friend’s pool. According to witnesses on scene, his heart stopped beating for at least ten minutes. Deputies with the Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office, District 3 Volunteer Firemen and paramedics from Baptist Memorial Hospital Golden Triangle worked on the unconscious toddler until he was brought back to life.
Four weeks later, on Casey Lane in New Hope, 11-month-old Paisley Mason was accidentally locked in her mother’s car when she choked on a seatbelt. Although Paisley’s mom tried, she could not manage to break her car’s window to help her child. Deputies raced to the home and quickly broke into the car and pulled the lifeless baby out. Relying on years of training, the deputies performed CPR and somehow got her tiny heart to beat again — after nearly five minutes of silence.
Most first responders will tell you that it is a longshot that anyone, especially a child, would regain a heartbeat after such a long time without one. Several paramedics noted that the odds of it happening twice in a career are incredible, and it happening twice in one month, in one town, are miraculous.
Paisley and Russell both were flown to the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at North Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson for treatment. Paisley recovered relatively quickly, and she was able to come home to her family in New Hope in early May. Paisley has almost fully recovered. She has a bit of muscular atrophy to overcome in the hospital bed.
Paisley celebrated her first birthday with a night out on the town, surrounded by her family. The special guest of honor? The men that saved her life. Paisley’s mom, Nikki Beasley, honored the men with special plaques and lots of hugs. Four of the toughest deputies in town got to hold Paisley, and there wasn’t a dry eye in the house.
The very same day that Paisley’s family was celebrating at dinner, young Thomas Russell Humbers was just returning home with his family. Russell has a bit of a harder road ahead than Paisley, but his family is encouraged by his progress. Humbers is still using a feeding tube, but is said to be very alert and is even smiling and laughing with his family. Just this week, the youngster sat up on his own — only to be told he couldn’t go play outside with his friends. The family said that he is going through rehabilitation and therapy and they are optimistic about his recovery. Russell also has a birthday coming up. He will turn four on June 8th.
Both families are having events to thank the community for their support. A Picnic With Paisley takes place this Sunday, May 18th, at noon, at Lake Lowndes State Park. The family encourage the entire community to come celebrate Paisley’s return and to honor the heroes who saved her life.
A letter from Paisley’s Mom:
On behalf of Paisley Mason and the Beasley/Mason family, we send our sincere gratitude to our community for all of the prayers and assistance we received during our family crisis. We are so appreciative of all food, meals, donations and acts of kindness Your prayers and daily inquiries let us know how much you cared. We looked forward to your calls and messages. Although this could have been a great tragedy for our family, these events have brought us all closer together and we are thankful for each and every one of you.
A benefit for Russell Humbers will be held on June 2nd at the American Legion Hall, located at 308 Chubby Drive in Columbus, from 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. The fundraiser will feature live music, children’s activities, a silent auction, water safety education, and much more. Food and beverage will be provided. Although updates will be posted to the Benefit for Russell Humbers Facebook page and on The Real Story website (thisisrealmedia.com), individuals can also send e-mails to email@example.com.
Another hero will also be honored on Sunday. Will Ayers is a young man from Caledonia who is giving his all in a battle against cancer. A “Will To Win” Benefit will be held at the Riverwalk Sunday beginning at 2 p.m. Come on out and show your support for this special hero and his family.
In other hero news, the brave men and women of Columbus Fire and Rescue have been very busy the last two weeks. There have been at least three recent fires that occurred under suspicious circumstances, and both the Columbus Fire and the Columbus Police Department are asking for your help. Fires on 20th St. North, Byrnes Circle and 15th St. South are all currently under investigation for arson. Columbus Police Chief Selvain McQueen said that the three fires are unrelated and that his investigators have strong evidence in at least two of the cases, but he is asking the public for their support.
“We, as always, are asking anyone who sees something to call us and help us catch these individuals. These people put our good men and women in harms way and they must be caught” McQueen said.
There are heroes around us every day in Lowndes County, from the mentioned first responders to the doctors, teachers and regular citizens who are all doing their part to make the world a better place. Perhaps we should all take the time to thank them for all they do. You don’t have to look far to find the heroes in this community.
The Columbus Packet