WARNER ROBINS -- Its not every day a 6-year-old becomes his dads hero, but Cole Powell did just that when he called for backup after his dad passed out with no one else home.
It breaks my heart that he had to go through that, said Chad Powell, 36. But Im proud he had the guts to do what had to be done.
Powell, who has a rare muscle disease, suffered a major seizure Oct. 13 while he was home alone with Cole. Cole hadnt been trained on what to do, but he did everything right, according to stepmother Barbara Powell and Houston County Sheriffs Capt. Ricky Harlowe.
About four years ago, Chad Powell was diagnosed with dystonia, a neurological disease that causes involuntary muscle movements.
But hes never had seizures, so this was something new, said Barbara Powell. He has MedAlert (push button emergency response) in case he fell at home by himself, so he could call for help.
She said she was at work in Macon when responders called her about a medical emergency at her Warner Robins home on Whitney Drive.
Cole was talking to 911, and the operator needed Barbara to interpret Coles answers to questions.
He said, My daddys on the floor jumping around like a fish, Barbara recalled of Coles conversation with the operator.
The operator asked more than once if his father was breathing. Cole was exasperated at the repeated question.
He said, Lady, I said his stomach is going up and down, Barbara said. I had to tell them (Coles) telling you (his dad is) breathing.
Cole had been taught to place his hand on his fathers stomach to check for breathing, but that was the extent of his lessons.
The little fella had enough peace of mind and wits about him that he actually got my MedAlert, Chad Powell said.
And Coles instincts told him even more. He managed to unlock his dads smartphone and call his grandmother to the house.
Cole was able to give a description of the house, he gave a description of the truck in the yard, and he turned the porch light on for paramedics, Harlowe said.
Harlowe, director of the Houston County E911 Center, said Cole is among the few children who instinctively save adults each year in Houston County. The center has been trying to increase the numbers of emergency savvy children with in-school sessions around the county.
Children should be taught to call 911 in case of an emergency and relay an address above all else, Harlowe said.
If that call drops, at least we know where you are, Harlowe said, adding operators dont depend solely on technology to give them addresses.
Chad Powell remembers little before or after the incident, but his doctors told him death was certain had Cole not reacted quickly and decisively, the father said.
It makes me proud and upset ... all at the same time, Chad Powell said.
To contact writer Christina M. Wright, call 256-9685.