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UNSUNG HERO: 8-year-old boy saves great-grandmother

JOHNSTON CITY — In this week’s Unsung Hero, a second-grader from Johnston City is being credited for saving his great-grandmother’s life. She had fallen outside on a cold day and couldn’t move when he took care of her and got help.

Brees Smith is the only great-grandchild to Jack and Joy (Julia) Helfrich.

"He plays with Legos and looks at that camera or whatever they call it. Sometimes he’ll be under the table. Sometimes he’ll be on the couch. Just where-ever he flops," said Jack.  

Brees got his name from one of his heroes.

"Drew Brees of course," said Brees.  

But the 8-year-old is already a hero in his own right. On a very cold winter day, Joy went out her back door to feed the birds.

"Stepped off the cement and just it a big (throw) and it all went out. Turned around to go back in and I just fell," said Joy.  

"Then I heard Screaming, Brees! Brees" added Brees.

"I just hurt and I was cold and I knew I was in trouble," added Joy. 

Jack was on his way home from Las Vegas with other family members, and Brees’ dad was out getting them lunch. Brees would normally be at school but was out sick that day.

"I was thinking, Oh my God. That’s what I was thinking," said Joy.  

Brees was in the living room on the couch playing with his iPad with earphones on but still managed to hear her. So he ran towards the backdoor.

"I went over, then looked outside and I saw her laying down on the ground," described Brees.  

Brees grabbed her a chair and covered her with his blanket. He then ran to get help.

"I found a guy walking by, who was a really nice man," said Brees.  

Brees said the stranger called 911 and had him get more blankets and a pillow.

"If nobody was here, she would’ve froze to death," said Jack.
"I couldn’t have made it without him. Still can’t make it," added Joy.  

Joy was rushed to the hospital and suffered a fractured hip.

"He’s my hero," said Jack.  
"I am so proud of him, You can’t imagine. I don’t know… I guess I could have died," added Joy.       

They also have a message for the mystery man.

"We want to thank the guy that we don’t know, that helped," said Joy.  
"Thank you for helping me," added Brees.  

That day, Brees just happened to be at the right place, at the right time.

"He’s always at the right place if he’s with his Mam-ma," added Joy.

Great-Grandma Joy had surgery on her hip the next day. She’s now recovering at a Rehab Center.

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News 3 Staff

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