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Boy, 5, saves diabetic father

Danny Stephen says he has been leaning on 5-year-old Jude Stephen for support a lot lately.

CHRIS ZUPPA | Times

Danny Stephen says he has been leaning on 5-year-old Jude Stephen for support a lot lately.

ST. PETERSBURG — Five-year-old Jude Stephen was home alone with his semi-conscious dad most of Saturday.

A diabetic, 43-year-old Danny Stephen said he lay down to rest about 9 or 10 a.m. and lapsed into a diabetic stupor. For several hours, he tried to tell his son what to do. But he couldn't get the words out.

To Jude, it sounded like Danny was "speaking Japanese."

Finally, though, the boy understood he needed to do something. He got his dad some juice packets, the kind with the straws. Then, Jude hand-fed his father two cupcakes.

"There was some choking and gagging," Danny Stephen said.

Finally, Jude got his dad some honey – and things started to get better. The boy held his dad's cell phone while Danny called his mother, Michelle Schmidt, who called 911.

By the time paramedics arrived, Danny was waiting to meet them in the front yard. St. Petersburg Fire Rescue Paramedic Dave Fraser said Jude might have saved his dad's life. He called the boy a hero.

The Stephen family has been having a rough time lately.

Danny said he lost his wife, Michelle, to a stroke in September. Soon after, he lost his job in construction.

He is not always able to afford the test sticks to check his blood sugar.

He says he and Jude rely on each other.

"That little boy, I've been leaning on him for support more than he's been leaning on me," Danny said.

Jude, a kindergarten student at Bear Creek Elementary, is just glad it's over.

"I was crying," he said. "I'm not crying anymore."

Boy, 5, saves diabetic father 01/31/09 [Last modified: Saturday, January 31, 2009 11:24pm]
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