A Tennessee man has an unlikely source to thank for saving his life on Saturday. A 3-year-old toddler saved the elderly man from a hot car after he suddenly became locked inside his vehicle. With sweltering temperatures and the threat of heatstroke, had it not been for the fast-thinking child, things could have been worse, citing a July 16 KVUE news report.
Bob King, 68, was waiting outside in his car for his wife to return from an event at the Vestal Baptist Church in Knoxville. During the wait, he became warm and tried to open the car door. However, the automatic doors were locked and were not able to be opened unless the car's key was turned to the "accessory" position or completely to start the engine. But there was one problem: his wife had the keys.
Panic soon set in as the temperature in the car rose along with the elderly man's body temperature. It would be a toddler who eventually saved the man's life.
Keith Williams, no more than three feet tall, was passing near King's car when he saw the man waving to get his attention. The man was gesturing for him to open the door, to no avail. Unable to open the door and free the Tennessee man from the hot car, the little boy thought quickly and ran to get the assistance of a pastor, who was nearby at the time.
Pastor Jack Greene explained how the toddler saved the elderly man from succumbing to heat stroke:
I was talking to someone and little Keith came behind me and kept saying, 'Locked, locked, locked' and 'hot, hot.' I told the gentleman: 'Excuse me for a minute' and I followed him [Keith] out. When I saw Bob in the car, I said to myself: "Oh my Lord.'"
Moments later, after several unsuccessful attempts, Pastor Greene managed to open the door. And when he did, King, in a much weakened state, slumped to the ground, barely avoiding hitting his head on the pavement.
His whole body was raining sweat. His face was red like a pickled beet. I asked him three times: 'Are you OK Bob?'" Greene added.
The elderly man saved by the toddler said he "needed a minute," and refused treatment. Instead, he was brought inside the air-conditioned church where he was given something to eat and drink.
According to ABC News, Jessie Williams, the young boy's mom, said only days ago , she taught Keith all about car safety and what to do if he is left alone in a hot car. Thankfully, he paid attention and put what he learned into practice.
Recently, due to a disturbing pattern of caregivers leaving children unattended in hot cars, there has been a lot of attention given to car safety -- and for good reason. Sadly, about 40 U.S. children succumb to these negligent practices annually. But there are a rising number of fatalities that include seniors.
With the toddler saving the elderly man's life, hopefully, it puts more attention on this often neglected group.