WESTERNPORT — Tina Cummings was fast asleep one night last week when the phone rang shortly before 2 a.m. It was a call from her 14-year-old son, Dylan, who was spending the night with his grandfather who resides a few blocks away.
“It was Dylan. He kept saying, ‘Pappy, pappy.’ I could hear my dad screaming in the background,” she said. “I called my brother Shawn who lives on Spruce Street and told him to go to Dad’s now — something is wrong. My husband, Raymond, and I were racing there when Dylan called back. He said, ‘Ut-oh, Mommy.’ I knew it was bad.”
Dylan Bonney, who has Down syndrome, had the front door open and lights on when Tina and Raymond arrived.
“Dad was lying on the floor and unresponsive. He fell and hit his head on the dresser and lost consciousness. He wasn’t breathing. Raymond shook him and he started breathing. Potomac Fire Company then showed up and assisted.
“Dad came to, but he could barely talk. He said he couldn’t feel his legs and said he was numb. He said his neck was hurting really bad.”
Potomac volunteers provided initial aid at the scene before Frostburg Area Ambulance Service arrived and took the 66-year-old Bill Bonney to the Western Maryland Regional Medical Center.
He was released from the hospital the following day after various medical tests and treatment for a severe neck injury.
Now, the retired Masteller Coal Co. miner and veteran school bus driver is home recuperating from the early-moring incident in which his beloved grandson became an instant hero.
“I don’t even remember what night it was. It was all a blur. But when we got to Dad’s house, Dylan was sitting on the couch crying. It broke my heart,” recalled Tina.
“Dylan doesn’t use the phone, so we asked him to show us what he did when Dad fell. He said he went to the missed calls and found the name Tina and called me. He used it twice to call me that morning and he then put the phone back on Dad’s nightstand.
“Dylan’s an honors student at Mountain Ridge (High School). He’s a smart cookie. We keep telling Dylan he is a hero. We had a family get-together the other day and everyone was telling him that.
“Dylan is amazing. He’s my special little guy. We’d be lost without him. If you are around him any time, he lights your world up. I don’t know what we would do without him.’
Dylan also enjoys playing rec league basketball.
“He would play every day if he could. He’s just happy to be there and taking part,” said Tina.
Jeffrey Alderton may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.