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Brother Christopher Kelley, grandfather Greg Jelm, Joseph Hutcheson and mother Cheyenne Donaldson
Palm Coast Saturday, Feb. 11, 2012 5 years ago

Toddler saves mother

by: Shanna Fortier Associate Editor

Joseph Hutcheson, 2 years old at the time, called his mom’s best friend when she fell from a ladder, possibly saving her life.

Three-year-old Daytona North resident Joseph Hutcheson was recognized Tuesday, Feb. 7, as a lifesaving community member by Sheriff Don Fleming and the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office.

Hutcheson’s mother, Cheyenne Donaldson, suffered a seizure Sept. 12, in her home, and fell to the hard tile floor from atop a 6-foot stepladder, which she was using to change a light bulb.

Hutcheson watched his mother fall and tried to wake her up. When he got no response, the then-2-year-old picked up the phone and calmly dialed his mother’s best friend, Lisa Bittle.

The boy was able to tell Bittle over the phone what happened. She responded to the residence and discovered Donaldson lying on the floor, still unconscious and going through convulsions. She called 911.

“Even at 2 years old, Joseph recognized his mother was not responding to him and knew she needed help,” Fleming said at the award presentation. “This is not the first time Joseph has helped his mother by calling 911.”

Donaldson has tumors on her brain, which cause severe seizures. Because of this condition, she taught her youngest son to use the phone in case of an emergency.

It was discovered after the incident that Donaldson suffered a mild stroke and had cracked her skull.

“If not for her son, there is no telling how long she would have gone without help, and he possibly saved her life,” said Deputy Steve Williams, who nominated the youth lifesaver for the award.

Hutcheson, who refers to Williams as “his cop,” said that when he is old enough, he wants a cop car of his own. But for now, he will continue to use his lifesaving telephone skills.

“He has been doing a great job being his mom’s guardian angel,” Fleming said.

Email Shanna Fortier at [email protected].

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