On February 25th, Crystal Thompson from Massillon was driving with her 11-year-old twin sons, Jordan and Jermel Taylor, to visit their grandmother. However, during the journey, Thompson suffered a debilitating medical emergency. While driving near State Route 21 South and State Route 30 East, the twins took immediate action.
According to PEOPLE, Thompson experienced an epileptic seizure around 10:30 a.m., causing her to lose control of the SUV. Jordan quickly recognized the situation and alerted his brother, Jermel, saying “I think she’s about to have a seizure.” Jermel, who was seated in the passenger seat, took over the wheel and skillfully steered the car off the road and onto a safer, grassy area.
During a CBS affiliate WTRF-TV interview, Jermel shared his thoughts on preventing harm to other drivers while his mother had a seizure while driving. “Let’s not injure all the people on the road in the cars and let’s try to keep everybody safe,” he said. Jordan immediately guided the car towards a nearby field while calling 911 for assistance.
However, he was shaken and unable to communicate with the dispatcher, stating, “I was, like, so scared,” Fortunately, Thompson was safely taken to a nearby hospital, and she expressed immense pride in her sons’ bravery. She credited her fiancé for teaching them how to drive a tractor and her father for teaching them how to ride go-karts.
After waking up in the back of an ambulance, Thompson could not recall much of what happened but was grateful her sons knew how to respond during her seizure. “Honestly, I was just so thankful that they knew exactly what to do for me because they’ve seen me have seizures before, but this one was just out of the blue,” she said. Sergeant Audrey Aiello, who arrived on the scene, was impressed with the boys’ quick thinking and response to the situation.
Jordan’s decision to pull into the grassy fields prevented other drivers from sustaining severe injuries. The twin sixth graders, who attend Massillon Digital Academy, were overwhelmed by the experience and focused on keeping everyone safe. “It was instinct. I never knew I could do that because I never drove a car before,” Jermel told WEWS-TV.
Aiello expressed her admiration for the boys’ quick thinking and response to the emergency, noting that children their age typically do not have such a reaction. “I have a 10-year-old who is almost 11, and I’m not sure what she would have done in this situation,” she said. Aiello and Kathy Catazaro-Perry, the mayor of Massillon, presented the boys with a letter of special commendation for their bravery and quick actions during the crisis.
In the letter, they thanked the twins for their “quick thinking in a time of crisis,” and praised them for their honorable and brave actions. “Their brave actions are honorable, and we just want them to know that we appreciate everything that they have done for themselves, their mother, and the community,” added Aiello.
The twins expressed their love for their mom as the reason behind their actions, stating that she is “the best mom ever.” They acknowledged their teamwork in saving her life and emphasized the importance of sticking together as a family.
“I felt like I was always around my mom and my brother, 24/7. Even though me and my brother argue a lot, we’re still close because all I ever remember is that we always stick together,” said Jordan. The twins hope that their experience will serve as a reminder to others about the medical conditions of their loved ones and how to respond in emergency situations.