5-Year-Old NJ Boy Uses ABCs to Save Dad's Life

A 5-year-old Newark, NJ boy became a hero after he used quick thinking and A-B-C skills to save his father’s life last week.

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The two were driving home from buying Nathaniel Dancy Jr. school shoes when Nathaniel Sr. suffered an aneurysm and stroke, making him violently ill, according to a report by New York’s NBC Channel 4 News. (NBC reported his name as Nathaniel Darcy, but Nathaniel Jr.'s school, the public North Star Academy Charter School, confirmed for Yahoo! Shine it was Dancy). He was able to pull the car over, but then got out of the car, vomited, and became paralyzed by a seizure. That’s when Nathaniel Jr., who is in kindergarten, sprang into action, grabbing his dad’s phone and calling his grandmother.

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“He said, ‘Come and help me and my daddy. We’re in trouble,’” Susan Hardy-Blackman told NBC New York. She asked him where they were, and, though her grandson was unable to read the sign on the store they were in front of, he spelled it for her: F-U-R-N-I-T-U-R-E. But she was still confused. And that prompted the young boy to be persistent well beyond his years.

“He said, ‘Grandma, use your active listening skills,’” she said. “‘Listen to the words that are coming out of my mouth.’” He gave her another clue, that they’d just gone through a tunnel, and Hardy-Blackman was able to go to them, where they were parked in front of a furniture store, and send an ambulance there, too.

Brett Baker, director of operations at Nathaniel's North Star Academy, told Yahoo! Shine that young Nathaniel is "a very caring individual," and that he was proud to know the school's emphasis of core values "really helped him seize the moment, as it were."

Doctors say that Nathaniel Sr., who remains hospitalized, is lucky to be alive.

Nathaniel Jr. now joins the ever-growing club of child heroes credited with saving their parents’ lives. Another 5-year-old boy, Quincy James Hall, called 911 last year after his dad suffered an epileptic seizure in their Washington home. Last month, in Oregon, teen sisters rescued their father from disaster when they pulled an overturned 3,000-pound tractor off his chest while waiting for the EMS to arrive. And, earlier this month, a 12-year-old Long Island girl saved her father from choking on bread by using the Heimlich maneuver, which she had just learned in school, while, in February, a 13-year-old Atlanta girl drew on knowledge from a school CPR course to save her father’s life after he’d suffered a massive heart attack.

As for the Dancys, “They saved each other’s lives,” Janel Blackman, the boy's mom, told NBC. “My husband knew to pull over. My son knew to take action.”

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