GREAT FALLS — In December 2021, Jeffery Gorton, a 10-year old student at Longfellow Elementary School in Great Falls, was hailed as a hero after he saved his mother’s life when he knew to call 911 after finding her having trouble breathing.
On Friday, May 13, 2022, the Great Falls Police Department presented Jeffery with a "Citizen Lifesaving Award."
An infection after dental surgery resulted in swelling of Tara's throat, making it extremely difficult for her to breathe.
“I never thought my own son would be my hero,” she said. “I am very proud of him.”
If it wasn’t for Jeffery’s quick thinking, there is a very real possibility that his mom wouldn’t have made it.
“He saved his mom’s life,” said his father Geoffery. “I had talked to one of the doctors in the ER that said had it been minutes later she certainly wouldn’t have made it.”
Tara made a quick recovery, and was able to make it back home in time to spend Christmas with her sons.
“The best Christmas present was being able to be home with my boys. That’s all I wanted for Christmas” she said.
Staying calm in an emergency situation can be challenging but Jeffery was a pro.
Logan Lewis, the 911 dispatcher who helped Jeffrey, noted, “Not many children are that calm. He gave me everything I needed, and he did it very well.”
Lewis said that if you ever need to call 911, try to remain calm: “Address is key. If you don’t know the address, we can’t help you. So knowing your address, that’s the most important part."
Geoffery hopes all children can get a chance to be educated about how to handle an emergency situation: “For kids, it’s important that they know that even though they’re scared, it’s okay to be scared. And that won’t stop you from doing what you need to do”
The family is grateful to Longfellow school for preparing Jeffery with the education to handle the situation correctly, as well as all the emergency and medical services that were involved.
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