The tree Sanchez fell from. Image source: Kathy Day.
Zachary Sanchez. Image source: Kathy Day.
GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) -
Ten-year-old Zachary Sanchez might not be alive today if not for the quick thinking of another kid at his bus stop at the corner of Parkwood Drive and Cypress Drive in Gulfport Friday, December 7.
Sanchezs' mother, Kathy Day said 11-year-old Andre Key was there when Sanchez, who was reportedly playing on a tree, fell.
According to Garden Park Medical Center, Sanchez was knocked unconscious with blood trickling from his ear.
Key ran to Sanchez's house for help. He and Sanchez's older brother Tyler went back to the bus stop and carried Sanchez back to the house.
"It was about a 12 foot tree," Day said. "He doesn't remember a whole lot. He thinks he remembers a branch breaking on the tree. He remembers being carried back to the house. He is just very appreciative of both of them."
Sanchez's grandfather drove him to Garden Park Medical Hospital where officials said he had life threatening injuries.
He was then transported to Tulane Medical Center in New Orleans.
Emergency room nurses said if Key weren't there to help Sanchez, he may not have survived.
"Well he needed some help so I helped him," Key said.
"I feel a sense of pride knowing that he was raised right to help anybody that needs help," Key's father, Curtis Key said. "That would be a proud moment for me as a father that we raised him right to share love with everyone to treat everyone equally."
According to Key's father, Key didn't discuss the incident to anyone at school. He did tell his father that he had to go home and change clothes because he had blood on them. Key was able to run back to the stop to catch the bus and made it to school on time.
"It was no big deal for him. He never made any mention to anyone that he helped him," Curtis said. "He did what he thought was right. He didn't think it deserved any merit."
Garden Park Medical Center staffers were so impressed by Andre's and Tyler's courage and humility and Zachary's perseverance, they contacted the parents of both parties and the principal of Orange Grove Elementary school, where the students attend. They arranged for a public recognition of Andre's heroism during an assembly of the 5th and 6th grades, in the Orange Grove Elementary School's cafeteria on Tuesday.
They have also solicited donations for gift certificates to be provided to the children as part of their recognition. LeAnne York, Trauma Center Director at Garden Park, among other Garden Park personnel, will present the items.
"It is so nice to see a child help another child, especially when there is so much violence in the world. He could have turned his back or waited until it was too late," York said.
"I'm very blessed and grateful that my son is still alive," Day said.
Day said Sanchez suffered partial hearing loss and a mild case of bell's palsy which has caused a slight paralysis of facial muscles on the right side of his face.