Sometimes the universe puts you in the right place at the right time— and that’s exactly what first-grade teacher Keller Sutherland learned when she spotted a former student bicycling on the busy U.S. 25.
That Wednesday, Keller had left Ellen Woodside Elementary School early after having a rough day at work.
“I was beating myself up about some things,” she recalled.
“[I] felt like I wasn’t making a difference.”
Keller’s usual staff meeting had been canceled, so she planned to rest at home before heading to church. The teacher made it roughly a mile from the school when she spotted an alarming sight.
A child was biking on the side of the U.S. 25. There was no meridian or shoulder, and vehicles were passing but not slowing down.
In an interview with Greenville News Online, she said: “I turned my car around pretty much immediately after I passed him.” Upon getting a closer look, Keller realized she knew the young boy— it was a 7-year-old named Cameron, a student she had taught last year.
Keller was immediately confused. She knew Cameron was a good boy and wouldn’t be out disobeying his parents. When she asked him what he was doing, he said he was going to his grandma’s house.
The teacher asked if his dad knew where he was going. When Cameron said no, it immediately raised red flags. “I said ‘Cameron, tell me what’s going on at the house.'”
“And he said, ‘My dad’s diabetic. Sometimes he has episodes, and when he does, he loses brain function.'”
At this point, two truckers who had stopped to help contacted 911. Together with Cameron, Keller led them back to the scene.
Upon arrival, EMS workers found Cameron’s dad sprawled on the floor and barely conscious. Luckily, after treatment, he was back to his old self.
It turns out that Cameron had tried to call 911 when his dad lost consciousness but didn’t know the passcode for his father’s cellphone. After, he ran to the neighbors’ houses, but neither of them was home. In his mind, the next logical person was Grandma who lived 5 miles away.
Inspired by Cameron’s story, Ellen Woodside Elementary will now be teaching students how to make emergency calls on different types of cellphones.
“Cameron was doing exactly what he was taught,” said principal Shawn McCain— he just didn’t know how to unlock the phone.
Although Cameron is being praised as the hero in this story, the event helped Sutherland realize she truly does serve a purpose. “God just showed up in an amazing way,” she said. “On a day when I felt I wasn’t making an impact, He just intervened and placed me where I needed to be for Cameron.”
The inspiring story was shared to the Greenville County Schools Facebook page, where it has since amassed more than 90,000 views.
Viewers were loaded with praise for both Cameron and Keller, and a few comments on the video read:
“Mrs. Keller Hayes Sutherland is an amazing woman!! She truly does love every child she not only has the pleasure of teaching but everyone she meets.”
“What a brave child. Thank you for your caring heart!”
“Thank you Mrs. Sutherland and Cameron. God always has His hands on His children.”
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Teachers create bonds with their students every day. This week a teacher and student saved a life. Keller Sutherland was driving home from Ellen Woodside Elementary when she saw a child riding down Highway 25 on his bicycle. The child appeared scared and was peddling as fast as he could. Sutherland recognized the child as one of her former students. With her help Cameron was able to get home safely and contact first responders to revive his unconscious father.
Posted by Greenville County Schools on Sunday, February 10, 2019