DARTMOUTH, Mass. (WPRI) — A 7-year-old Middletown, RI boy is being hailed a hero after police said he jumped into action during a medical emergency.
Jace Pina and his grandfather had been out for a day of fun at the Dartmouth Mall on Sunday, when his grandfather suffered what police are calling a “life-threatening medical emergency.”
Pina told Eyewitness News on Monday that he and his grandfather had been playing games in the mall arcade, when his grandfather started acting strange.
“When we were leaving he didn’t know what to do with his three dollars and I said put it in your pocket and he kept asking me why,” explained Pina at his grandparents’ home in Dartmouth.
“He just continued to become more and more disengaged,” Jace’s father Dwayne Pina explained. “And that’s when Jace kind of figured something was going wrong.”
Jace and his 66-year-old diabetic grandfather made it to the car, but when the older man slumped into the passenger seat and lost consciousness, Jace jumped into action.
“I felt nervous and sad,” said Jace. But the soon-to-be-second-grader kept calm and went inside the mall to flag down a security guard who quickly called 911.
“Immediately recognizing that his grandfather was in dire need of medical assistance, Jace ran into the Mall, where he notified Mall Security, who, in turn, called for emergency assistance,” Dartmouth police said in a Facebook post. “Because of Jace’s quick thinking, his grandfather received the appropriate medical attention that he needed, and is doing much better.”
In the post, police called Jace their “Hero of the Day.”
“We were super proud,” said Dwayne, who believes his son saved his father’s life. “If Jace wasn’t there and he’s just a guy in the passenger seat sleeping, who knows what happened there.”
Jace said he feels like a hero.
“I’m proud of myself,” he said. His grandfather has been released from the hospital and is doing well.