2015 Nominees – Bryce and Tony Smithlin
Survivor Kyra Smithlin, Puyallup, Washington, 37 at time of event (December 15, 2012)
Location of event – Home
The reason why I think Bryce and Tony deserve recognition is because of many reasons. Not only did they save my life, but in a scary situation for not only my husband but for my little 9-year-old son, they worked as a team and I'm so proud of them.
I was cuddling with my son at about 8:00 am on a Saturday and had fallen back to sleep. Bryce said that I started shaking like I was having a seizure. Shocked and scared he ran down the hall and got his Dad out of bed and told him Mom needed help. Tony came in and saw that I was gray and not breathing. Tony thought this can't be real and pulled me onto the floor and he started CPR immediately and told Bryce to go call 911. Little Bryce ran and called 911 and ran back upstairs and held the phone to his Dad's ear while he continued to do CPR until help arrived. Bryce then ran outside and directed the firemen upstairs to take over. They shocked me four times before taking me to the hospital.
That was just the beginning. My heart stopped and had to be defibrillated an additional 36 times. I was on life support and it didn't look good. I had burns all over and the doctors had burned out two defibrillator units and were on the third when the word came down that this would be the last one. It was now 5:00 pm, there were three doctors, countless nurses, a pharmacist, and the entire crash team. Two of the three doctors were urging to call a time of death. Tony had to go and tell Bryce I was not going to make it. Bryce ran down the hall and pushed past the doctors and nurses and climbed onto my bed. He told me "I love you Mom. Forgive me if I did anything wrong, if you need to go it's okay. But if you can fight, I want you to fight. I love you Mom."
He continued talking to me for hours until he fell asleep. Slowly, one by one, doctors and nurses were able to leave the room. Miraculously my heart stabilized. I believe, being a Mom, I heard my son's voice that day, which made me realize what I was fighting for.
Fast forward. I now have a implanted defibrillator and never forget how precious life is.
I think it is important to recognize kids who do things that even adults are afraid to do. I'm so proud of my husband and son.
Nominated by Kyra Smithlin