News: Memorial Day 2011: Indiana Family Thankful for Soldier's Actions to Save Child
Story by Capt. Kyle Key
LAWRENCEBURG, Ind. - A southern Indiana family’s laughter over lunch turned to panic when their 17-month old son began shaking and collapsed in his highchair.
Without a moment to lose, Army Staff Sgt. John Halsey rushed in to find Madden Peelman sitting limply in his high chair with his eyes rolled back into his head. Madden’s parents Heather and Dustin Peelman were in a state of shock.
“My wife was yelling for help and for someone to call 9-1-1,” said Dustin. “Just then, Halsey came rushing over to give us help. He made sure he had nothing in his mouth while remaining calm and explaining to me what was going on.”
Relying on his training as a certified EMT in civilian life and years of
military training, Halsey calmly took control of the situation. He held
Madden close to his body and placed his hand on the child’s chest in order to feel when he was “coming out” of the seizure. Halsey continued to brace his head and back to keep his airway open until paramedics arrived on the scene.
“Knowing to remain calm and take charge of the situation is an attribute that the Army trains every day,” Halsey said. Faces of fear and uncertainty subsided as he explained to Madden’s parents that he was just having a seizure and that he would be okay.
“It was amazing that Halsey had that much knowledge and offered his help so quickly,” said Dustin. “We are very thankful for him and are thankful that he was at the right place at the right time. Without Sgt. Halsey's help and all the others’ help and support we had received we don't know what would have happened.”
As help arrived, Madden was beginning to come around. Halsey handed him off to paramedics and gave them a report of the child’s condition. “It is a great feeling when your training takes over, to be able to stay calm and know the right thing to do,” Halsey added.
Halsey serves on active duty as an assistant platoon sergeant at the National Guard Patriot Academy in Butlerville, Ind. He has served a tour in Korea and two tours in Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Halsey recently received his Associates in Applied Science at Mountain West College and is a graduate of Walton-Verona High School in Walton, Ky.
This Memorial Day, the Peelman family is particularly thankful for soldiers like Halsey whose training comes as second nature and allows someone else a second chance.
“I was just glad to be there and be able to help,” Halsey added.