GREENVILLE Co. (WSPA) – After a full day of school at Ellen Woodside Elementary last Wednesday, second-grader Cameron Simoncic headed home to his father’s house.
When he got there, however, he noticed something wasn’t right.
“My dad has diabetes and whenever he has these episodes and whenever it happens, his brain can’t function,” Cameron told CBS 17 sister station WSPA.
Cameron said he found his father unconscious in the kitchen and in need of immediate medical attention.
The 7-year-old said he tried to unlock his dad’s cell phone to call for help, but didn’t know the passcode. His neighbors also weren’t home.
“I knocked on the doors, but neither of them were home, so I got on my bike and tried to ride to my grandmas,” he said.
Cameron set off on a 5-mile bike ride to his grandmothers house, crossing over four lanes of traffic and dodging cars to get on to Highway 25.
Driving the same direction was Cameron’s first grade teacher, Keller Sutherland. She explained that she was having a bad day, questioning her purpose in life as a teacher.
She said she grabbed crackers from the vending machine and left school early after a cancelled meeting, calling her husband on the ride home.
That’s when she saw a small boy on his bicycle among the cars.
“I just told my husband, I said ‘There’s a small child on his bicycle riding down the road. I’m not sure what’s going on but I feel like I need to just turn around and see what’s going on,'” she said.
After pulling over, Sutherland said she was shocked to find out that child was Cameron, who she had in class last year in first grade.
It wasn’t long before he told her what happened at home.
“I think we worked together as a team just to keep each other calm in that moment,” she said.
Two other men had pulled over on the side of the road and called 911, according to Sutherland. When first responders arrived, Cameron was able to give everyone directions to his house.
“The ambulance came, the firemen came. The firemen were really nice to me,” he said.
After Cameron’s father got the injection he needed, it was the crackers Sutherland bought earlier that first responders used to help him come-to by normalizing his blood sugar levels.
Sutherland touted Cameron’s bravery Monday. She said that while she knows she was there for him and his father, Cameron was also there for her by reminding her that helping students succeed doesn’t always happen in the classroom.
She expressed gratitude for re-discovering her purpose.
“There’s no doubt that God placed me where he did when he needed me,” she said.