One Thursday morning, Olivia Heid (8 years old) and her little brother RJ (4 years old) were playing in the backyard of their Harmony Road home in Middletown, New Jersey.
It was a perfect day, so Stephanie Heid and her husband Richard decided to give their children their first snow-sledding experience.
But none of them expected what was about to happen that day.
They had no idea what was coming.
After having a sumptuous lunch, the Heids started to look for a perfect spot for the kids. They first went to the sled hill at Holmdel Park, sadly, it was closed.
Stephanie took to Facebook and asked for recommendations to which people responded by suggesting the Beacon Hill Country Club.
The family arrived at the Beacon Hill Country Club between 2 and 3 P.M. However, when they checked the main hill, it was crowded and too steep. They decided to choose a much smaller hill located to the left that had a lesser incline.
“We have two saucer sleds, but my husband insisted on bringing this big blow-up inner tube sled,” Stephanie told Patch. “We spent half an hour sitting in the car blowing that thing up.”
What they didn’t know was that they’d be thankful for having that inflatable sled.
Never take small details for granted.
The couple noticed that there was a pond situated to the right of the hill but they didn’t consider it much of a big deal. It was quite far so they never thought it’d cause them any trouble.
Olivia and RJ’s first run-off went smooth like butter so they gave it another go. The older sister sat on the inflatable sled and RJ sat on his bigger sister’s lap.
Richard gave the kids a strong push down the hill, little did he know, that’s where their family’s nightmare would start.
The kids, unfortunately, hit a patch of ice near a tree which caused their inflatable sled to ricochet and fly straight into the frozen pond.
It managed to float for a short while but started to sink every second, it was a terrifying sight to watch because it put Olivia and RJ in all sorts of danger.
The right people at the right moment.
As fate would have it, high school freshmen Kieran Foley, 14, Joseph Dietrich, 14, Drew Scalice, 14, Ryan Day, 15, and Tyler Armagan, 14, were also there to sled.
The teen boys were throwing rocks into the pond to check if it was totally frozen. Suddenly, they heard people shouting up the hill so they decided to see what was going on.
There, they saw the siblings slowly sinking into the ice-cold pond. Without thinking twice, Kieran immediately jumped into action to save them.
“I didn’t see anyone else be able to do anything, so I just jumped in,” he said while recalling that scary moment. “I was like, whatever. It wasn’t deep so I could walk right over to them. I picked them up and my friends formed a chain and we got the boy first, and handed him to my friends. Then I got the girl.”
“I couldn’t get down the hill fast enough,” said Stephanie. “There were other families at the top of the hill and we were all screaming. What was amazing to me was to see the boys immediately know how to form a human chain. I don’t know how they knew to do that. The whole thing is incredible.”
Turns out, Kieran and Drew were both members of Middletown Boy Scouts Troop 47. There’s no more wondering why they know how to do that, it’s most likely one of the things that they learned from being boy scouts.
During the rescue, Kieran’s boot got stuck in the pond, Tyler’s phone fell into the water, and another teen lost his headphones. Stephanie and Rich tried to reward them by offering them money but they refused.
“They were insanely humble. They didn’t want anything, they just wanted to make sure my kids were OK. They kept saying to my kids, ‘You’re safe now. You’re going to get a hot chocolate and a warm bath at home.’” Stephanie said while proudly sharing her encounter with the boys who saved her kids.
This story simply proves that heroes are just around and are always ready to help. In this teen boys’ case, they’ve shown us all that their quick thinking and selflessness can save lives.
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