Dear Editor,

As many of us sit and celebrate the heroes in New York City, I think it is time to celebrate the heroes that live right here among us in our small town.

My name is Nikki Boatright and I am the aunt of Kaylee Lynn Jones. The heroes I speak of are the ones not well noted in our Calhoun County. To me the EMTs that showed up at my house on October 11, 2001 are heroes. As are Mrs. Laura Marks, LPN, of Big Bend, and Mr. Richard Trites, substitute bus driver.

I, like so many others, take for granted what EMTs do on a regular basis. I had never stopped to think often enough about what they did for a living until October 11, 2001. I still wish to this day that I would never have had to make a call to 911 in my life. But on that fateful day I made the phone call that everyone dreads.

My two-year-old niece, Kaylee Lynn Jones, was struck by a car on that horrific day. Scared senseless, I knew enough to pick up the phone and call 911 just moments after seeing my niece land in the ditch line. I am not sure how the dispatcher that day could make any sense at all of what I was telling him. I could not stay calm for more than a few moments at a time. Somehow, and still a mystery to me, the dispatcher made something out of what I was telling him and dispatched the ambulance to my place of residence.

My family and I were lucky that day. While talking on the phone to the dispatcher, Mr. Trites was returning from his school bus run. I flagged him down and he gave Kaylee her first breath of air. A perfect stranger was able to do what my sister and I were not calm or collected enough to do. Just moments after this Mrs. Marks showed up after hearing across the scanner about the accident. She did what she could do until EMTs could get to the scene.

What seemed like forever (which we know were only minutes now) the EMTs showed up and started administering proper first aid to Kaylee. They helped keep her alive. If not for them I am not sure she would have ever lived to make it to a hospital.

This same group of men and women even found it within themselves to be able to attend her memorial. It is not everyday that a patient touched their lives like Kaylee did that day. Losing a child is the worst pain imaginable and we all felt it.

I know the EMTs would have liked the outcome of that day to be different. We wish everyday the outcome would have been different. However, God did not have it planned to happen differently. No one can turn back time and change the outcome of that fateful day. The only thing possible to do is think of all we did do to help save Kaylee.

We have our own heroes in this county and it is time to stand up and salute them for all they do. Keep them in your prayers, you never know when you will need to call upon them to help save someone you love.

In conclusion, I live you with a poem.

Little Angels
When God calls little children to dwell with Him above,
We mortals sometimes question the wisdom of His love.
For no heartache compares with the death of one small child,
Who does so mush to make our world seem wonderful and mild.
Perhaps God tires of calling the aged to His fold,
So he picks a rosebud before it can grow old.

God knows how much we need them, and so he takes but few
To make the land of Heaven more beautiful to view.
Believing this is difficult, still somehow we must try,
The saddest word mankind knows will always be "Goodbye."
So when a little child departs, we who are left behind must realize
God loves children, Angels are hard to find.

May you all keep the family of Kaylee Jones' in your thoughts and prayers.


Nikki L. Boatright