We Talked to the Sixth-Grader Who Saved Two Lives in One Day — Here's His Advice to Other Would-be Hero Kids
Parenting courageous, empathetic, and discerning children who will grow up to be compassionate adults is the goal for most parents. For LaToya Johnson, mom to 11-year old Davyon Johnson, who used his instincts to save two lives in one day, this notion is actually a reality. For Davyon, a student in Muskogee, Oklahoma, the day started like any other day for the middle-schooler. However, as fate would have it, he would go on to become a hero.
Davyon's first act of heroism happened while at the water fountain at school, when he heard a 7th-grade student nearby whisper, "I'm choking. I'm choking." Inspired by his Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) uncle, Wendell Johnson, and having recently watched YouTube videos on the Heimlich Maneuver, Davyon immediately sprang into action.
He squeezed the boy's abdomen several times and eventually a bottle cap from a bottle of water that was lodged in his peer's throat popped out of the student's mouth. Davyon, who has always wanted to be an EMT, stayed by the student's side until medical professionals arrived; he wanted to make sure that the student was okay. LaToya Johnson picked up her rattled son from school and took him home to rest before attending an evening church service.
That evening, though, as Davyon was in the car headed to church with his mother, he noticed smoke coming from a house that they were passing by. At first his mother didn't recognize that there was an actual fire coming from the house, but after a nudge from her son, she pulled into the driveway and called the police.
Davyon approached the house, knocked on the door, and alerted the family of the fire at the back of the house. As five people quickly exited the house, Davyon noticed an elderly woman walking slowly with a walker out of the burning house. He realized she wasn't moving off of the house porch fast enough so came to her assistance to swiftly guide her outside to a truck.
Once the woman was out of danger's way, Davyon and his mother waved goodbye to the strangers and left. Latoya says she did not initially notice that the back of the house was on fire, but that Dayvon was very sure of what he discerned to be rising smoke coming from the house.
LaToya tells Parents.com she credits her son's faith and compassion for his heroism that day. She also shares that Davyon's father, Willie James Logan, recently died due to COVID-19 complications. "It is his dad working through him and also the positive influence of the church," says LaToya.
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Davyon has recently received many accolades but he definitely does not see himself as a hero. In fact, when asked by Parents.com if his acts were heroic, he states, "No, ma'am. Being kind and helping others is what we're supposed to do."
"Family has always instilled in Davyon not to have a hand out, but to always be prepared to give something and to be of service," says LaToya. She shares that this ordeal has changed her as a parent and in the way that she listens to her son. "If Davyon had not been in the car with me that day, an entire family could have lost their life. I told him that it just looked like something was burning, wood or something. But Davyon was like, 'No, mom! Something is wrong! Let's turn around. Let's check it out!'"
Davyon believes that it's important for parents to listen to their children and take them seriously when something is of concern for them.
When he woke on December 9, he didn't imagine that by the end of the day he would have facilitated in helping to save two different individuals' lives. As for advice he would share with other would-be kid heroes, Davyon says, "If you see a kid sitting alone at the lunch table at school, be a friend and go sit with them. Be kind, nice, and sensitive to one another. Treat others the way that you would like to be treated."
Humility in children is admirable and oftentimes a testament to their parents. Johnson has recently been recognized by the mayor of Muskogee, Oklahoma. In addition to being on the news and television, the Muskogee Police Department and Muskogee County Sheriff's Office have also named him an honorary member of their forces. While others may see Johnson's actions as a heroic deed, it appears that for him doing what is right is embedded inside of him so innately that praise for such a thing is strange.
"Love is key," says Davyon. "You don't have to know a stranger to help them, or be nice to them."
In honor of the humble child hero, Mayor Marlon Coleman has deemed December 9, Davyon Johnson Day in Muskogee, Oklahoma.