Quick action makes local boy a hero

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Douglas Ray’s alarm clock didn’t go off recently, and rather than race to school, he decided that he wanted to spend the day with his grandmother, Barbara Ray of near Vevay.

So Douglas, who is 10-years old and a fourth grader in Sharon Earls’ class at Jefferson-Craig Elementary; and his sister Cameron, age 8, went next door to spend the day with their grandmother.

But the events of the day make that decision a very prophetic one for the Switzerland County family.

“I just wanted to stay with mamaw that day,” Douglas said.

“I asked Douglas what he was doing there that day, and he just said that he wanted to stay with me,” Barbara Ray recalled. “I thought that was kind of odd, but he’s one of the most loving and caring kids I’ve ever seen. He’s such a good kid. He cares about people so much.”

What Douglas and Cameron didn’t know was that their mamaw had been very sick for about a week, but chose to keep it from her family. What happened next was a blessing for everyone.

“They were outside playing and I was sitting in the front room,” Barbara Ray said. “All of a sudden it was like snapping a finger and I couldn’t breath. I don’t know how I made it to the bathroom and I had the phone with me, but I left it in the bathroom when I tried to get to my bed.”

She recalls what happened next: “I went into the bedroom and fell on the bed. I couldn’t breath. I couldn’t even get three feet to get to the phone. I was passing out – that’s what I was doing.”

Lying helpless on her bed, Barbara Ray said she looked up to find Douglas standing at the bedroom door.

“She told me to call 911,” Douglas said. “I spoke to the emergency people and tried to give them the information that they needed. They asked me where I lived and stuff. They asked me what was wrong with her.”

Barbara Ray was suffering from double pneumonia, and although she had been to the doctor, her condition kept getting worse until it all culminated that morning.

“They (emergency workers) told that if I had passed out, I could have died,” Barbara Ray said. “If he hadn’t been there just when he was, I don’t know what would have happened.”

“He’s my little guardian angel,” Barbara Ray said of her grandson. “That day he was born I said he was my little gift from God, and that’s right. We’re so close that you just sense things.”

And Douglas’ thoughts on that day?

“He told me, ‘Mamaw the alarm clock didn’t go off because God didn’t want it to’,” Barbara Ray said. “If things didn’t happen just the way that they did…miracles happen, I guess.”

Barbara and Doug Ray have five grandchildren: Grant, Douglas, Cameron, Keegan, and Kortni. Barbara Ray is very proud of all of them, and proudly says that everyone of them is a loving and caring person.

“That’s what keeps you going,” she said. “Not only your kids, but your grandkids coming up. We’re a really close family.”

Switzerland County EMS transported Barbara Ray to the hospital, where she is now on the road to recovery. Douglas and Cameron are back in school and things are getting back to normal.

“He missed school that day but saved mamaw’s life,” Barbara Ray said as she smiled at her grandson. “That’s a pretty good trade.”