A Jasper County deputy who spends his time at a courthouse is being honored for helping to save a young girl's life when he was off-duty. The paths of these two people crossed unexpectedly. Now, they expect to remain special friends.
One month after 12-year-old Maslyn Headrick tore ligaments in her ankle, scabs in her throat from a recent tonsillectomy got too dry. She wasn't drinking enough water.
"Three out of the four of them came off," says Maslyn.
Maslyn has an enlarged artery to where her tonsils had grown. Her mom, Kendra, had to try and think straight while watching her daughter lose dangerous amounts of blood.
"I irrationally parked in the E.R. drive and opened the door before I had the car in park," says Kendra.
"When she opened the door, she had a throw up bag, and it was almost halfway full of blood," says Deputy James Marler.
Marler, who's usually a security guard at the Jasper County Courthouse in Joplin, was visiting his mom in the hospital who had also bled profusely from the head after a fall at home. Marler's mind was already occupied with a scary, unknown prognosis.
"He came over and his eyes just got like 10 times bigger than normal," says Maslyn.
Maslyn uses crutches.
"She wasn't really responsive, so I was having a hard time picking her up," says Kendra.
"I started gagging and blood was coming up," says Maslyn.
"I just jumped in and picked her up and ran her into the hospital," says Marler. "I actually didn't just run her into the waiting room. I ran her into the E.R....doors were open...I ran her in, and found somewhere to put her to get a doctor."
Maslyn was stabilized after emergency surgery. Kendra later saw Marler again outside the hospital, while she was regrouping her emotions.
"I think I may have said, 'Thank you'," says Kendra. "But I can't swear to that!"
She wanted to be sure of that appreciation. Kendra didn't get Marler's name at the time, and later called the sheriff's office for any help reconnecting with this very kind deputy.
"I was checking my e-mails one night," says Marler. "And it said, 'Was anyone at Mercy Hospital on July 11th?' My lieutenant asked, 'Did you come across something?' And he goes, 'Well, you're the one.' I'm like, 'I'm the one what?!'"
Marler was the one who Maslyn and Kendra later came to see at the courthouse for a certain show of gratitude.
"I was happy to see where she was up and walking around," says Marler.
So that's the story of what happened.
But there's an important side note.
"I hope he gets a lot of praise for this. People recognize that he did something like this," says Maslyn.
"I think I did what any normal person would've done in that situation," says Marler.
"It was happening so fast. Every second counted. So we definitely wanted to give credit where credit was due," says Kendra.
Sometimes, the simplest acts of care end up being monumental.
Marler has been invited to sit next to Maslyn's parents at several of her upcoming high school events.
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