A Real Life Hero at Miquon

By Kristin Sanderson

IMG_3667In November, second and third graders at The Miquon School studied heroes, exploring the character and lives of fictional superheroes like Wonder Woman and Superman, but also real life heroes like Malala Yousafzai and Albert Einstein — learning that a single person has the opportunity to make a difference every day.

To make the concept come to life, Miquon parent Marcell Porter visited the classroom to share his own heroic journey from this past summer, when he joined two other men in Cobb’s Creek to rescue Cheryl Allison, who was trapped inside a car that was upside down and quickly filling with water.

The children were riveted and their questions were largely about whether he was scared, wondering, “Would I do the same if I was in his position?”

Marcell wasn’t scared, and, he says, he didn’t even feel heroic at the time. He simply acted without questioning. Perhaps, as Miquon teacher Mark Palacio suggested, Marcell’s “super-powers,” his knowledge of CPR and skills gained as an auto body mechanic, enabled him to know the right way to free Ms. Allison.

During the eight minutes it took to break the car’s shatterproof window, dive into the car, cut Ms. Allison away from her seat belt, pull her out and up from the murky water and resuscitate her, Marcell was drawn along by adrenaline and urgent events. But, first, he made that decision to stop and help.

That moment is available to all, if, as Marcell explained, people are not talking on their cell phones and the radio is not playing too loud; “I wasn’t too caught up in my thoughts or distractions, and that’s why I noticed a woman flagging me down at the side of the road.”

One of the surprising lessons of Marcell’s story is that everyone has the ability to be a hero, and that regular experiences can become life-saving talents in a time of need.

Following Marcell’s talk, the children spent time reflecting and discussing the hero’s journey, and how they might ready themselves for some heroic call to action—be it large or small—in their own lives.

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