Name: Jody W.
Profession: Registered Nurse (Home Health Nurse)
Nominated by: Stephen N.
In December 2011, Jody W. saved a complete stranger’s life. As a Nurse, this wasn’t really something new; saving lives is in the job description. But this time was different; this time Jody saved a man’s life by giving him her kidney. Growing up, Jody saw the struggle of kidney disease and the life-saving power of organ donation first hand. Her close family members battled kidney disease, and several were given a new lease on life through organ donations. In July 2011, Jody put herself on a donation transplant list as a non-directed donor. Not even 5 months later, she was cleared to donate and matched with a recipient. In December, moments before her surgery, Jody got to meet the recipient of her kidney and his family. He is now doing well and on December 8th, 2012, Jody and the recipient celebrated their 1-year transplant anniversary! Jody is also very dedicated to international health and has been on 13 mission trips in Central America. She says she plans to use any prize money from Nominate a Hero on her next trip to Honduras!
Jody, the recipient of her kidney, and their families on the day of the operation.
Jody and the recipient looking GREAT 6-months post-surgery!
Name: Keven R.
Profession: Sheriff’s Deputy
Nominated by: Joel H.
Deputy Keven R. was on patrol in Dallas when he happened to notice something peculiar: a car’s brake lights sticking out of a lake. He immediately drove down to the reservoir, pointed his patrol car’s headlights across the water’s surface and got out of his car. That’s when he realized that the car was slowly sinking- with two young women trapped inside. Deputy Keven R. immediately took off his utility belt and waded into the freezing water. He then swam to the car and shattered the car window’s glass. Inside, the two women were beating on the window, begging for help and telling him that they could not swim. He pulled both women out of the vehicle, ‘bear-hugging’ them as he swam them back to safety. Rowan barely got both women to shore before the car was completely submerged. Amazingly, the entire ordeal was captured on the Deputy’s patrol car dash cam. Check it out below:
Deputy Keven Rowan
Name: Bradley H.
Profession: Volunteer Firefighter & EMT, Full-time EMT
Nominated by: Joyce H.
Brad got his start in firefighting as volunteer at only 18-years-old. Now, he serves as a full-time EMT while still volunteering his time as both an EMT and Firefighter. In March of 2011, Brad was called to a residential fire. When he arrived, there was already heavy smoke coming from the home. Recognizing the urgency of the situation, Brad and his team bravely entered the home–without gear–to rescue a bed-ridden woman trapped on the second floor. Within minutes, Brad and crew had the patient secured in an ambulance and on her way to the hospital. For his heroic action and quick-thinking, Brad was awarded the Medal of Valor.
Brad H. receiving a Medal of Valor and Lifesaving from his Fire Chief.
Name: Mrs. Ridge
Nominated by: Vicky P., Debra P., Ginny B., and Zena B. (Parents of current and previous students)
Parents of Mrs. Ridge’s students simply cannot say enough about the impact this inspiring educator has on their children, both academically and personally. They note her ‘incredible spirit, kindness, generosity and excellence as a teacher and citizen.’ Comparing her teaching abilities to being ‘able to leap tall building in a single bound,’ they shared all the ways her dedication and innovation has inspired their children to develop a love for learning. Mrs. Ridge is known for the family-like atmosphere she fosters in her classroom and unique ability to tailor a lesson plan to a diverse group of students by truly getting to know each of her students. She has also been known to dip into her own pocket to make sure she can give her students the very best despite budget cuts in her school district, even going so far as to provide lunches for students that would otherwise go without and donating used clothes from her own home to her students’ families. This educator is truly viewed as a ‘hero’ and ‘angel’ by her students and their families.