Destrehan boy receives national award for saving brother
Aidan Grundmeyer (left) dove into the pool to save his younger brother Kellan.
Destrehan native Aidan Grundmeyer, who was 7 years old at the time, was playing basketball at his grandmother’s home when he heard a splash in the pool in the backyard. When Aidan ran to check and see what had happened, he discovered his 3-year-old brother, Kellan, struggling to stay afloat with no adults in sight.
The now 9-year-old Aidan recalled the incident and said he was a little scared when he saw that his brother was in trouble, but he did not hesitate before jumping into the pool fully clothed to help.
"His mouth was under, but his nose wasn’t. He couldn’t swim and he was in the water," he said. "After I grabbed him he started kicking towards me. I took him out and he was just sort of choking and I patted him on the back."
The two came around to the front of the house to find their parents, who had no idea what had just happened.
Their mother, Kelly, said she was surprised to see her children drenched in water.
"Obviously we were shocked because we thought we were altogether. To have him come around and bring him and for them to be wet is a very unsettling sight," she said.
Kelly said it was not until later that the family really internalized what had happened.
"Later we really took the time to settle down and ask ‘how did that happen?’ There are chimes on the door and there are locks on the gates. There were 10 adults and people who are very aware that there is a pool," she said.
With the number of adults on hand outnumbering the number of children, and all of the safety measures in place, the Grundmeyers thought they were safe.
Brad, the children’s father, said the incident is a sobering reminder of how precious and fragile life really is.
"As parents, obviously, you never want to see your kids in that situation because it just goes to show it just takes a couple of seconds. I don’t care if you are the greatest parent in the world, it could happen," he said.
Brad is thankful that Aidan took the initiative to jump in the pool to help his struggling brother right away.
"That is the part that gets me. Thankfully he didn’t just go run and call for help because seconds are precious. His quick reaction saved his brother’s life," Brad said.
Although the incident occurred in April of 2012, Aidan did not receive an award until this fall because the Grundmeyers were not seeking any recognition.
In fact, Brad said he was not aware the Cub Scouts had such an award. It was not until he mentioned the incident in passing to the pack leader that the Cub Scouts began the process of awarding Aidan for his actions.
At the first meeting of Cub Scout Pack 317, Aidan was awarded the Boy Scouts of America’s Meritorious Action Medal of Merit and National Certificate of Merit.
Of 2.3 million Boy Scouts in the country, only 126 such awards were given for the entirety of 2012.
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