Unfortunately, many people take those who have dedicated their lives to public service for granted. However, without that dedication to the community, fast-thinking, and hard work of Stg. Rhodes, a 7-year-old little girl from Baton Rouge, would have lost her life. It began when the boat she was in with eight other passengers capsized near Grand Isle on Saturday evening. But thanks to Rhodes and the help of a few good Samaritans, she is now recovering from this life-altering incident.
The trouble started as the 21-foot boat began taking on water in the early evening. Sgt. Rhodes witnessed the vessel in distress. As the boat capsized, Rhodes got the attention of ATVers in the area, who took him back to his vehicle, where he also had a trailered boat. The civilians then assisted him in launching the boat to rescue the eight people on the vessel’s hull. But sadly, they reported that the young girl was still somewhere in the water.
Hearing that the child was still in the water, Sgt. Rhodes jumped in and began searching for her. He located the little girl under the boat, but she was unresponsive. When he got her on his boat, he started CPR, and she regained consciousness. Then the group was taken to Bridgeside Marina, where medical personnel airlifted the child to Children’s Hospital in New Orleans. Thanks to the heroic efforts of Sgt. Rhodes, the 7-year-old was reported to be in stable condition.
Clearly, Sgt. Rhodes is a hero who exemplifies selflessness and a desire to help and serve the community. But it is also vital to include those who took the initiative to get involved and help Rhodes. Without their help getting him back to his vehicle and launching his boat, that child’s life could have easily ended that day. It was only through the efforts of all of these people that a tragedy was avoided.
Maybe the outcome would have been different in other parts of the country. But fortunately, this happened in a place where we have a sense of community. We see others as our neighbors, whether we know them or not. And when someone needs help, the people in our community come together in support. In this case, a life was saved.
We should all be proud of our local hero, Stg. Rhodes and the strangers who are not seeing their names in the paper or getting the recognition for their act of kindness. In addition, we should all strive to honor them by remembering their actions and the outcome. They saved a life by simply choosing to come together and help a child in need. The world can often feel full of negativity and ill will. But there are also many people out there, and right here in New Orleans, dedicated to being the good that humanity needs today and in the future. It’s not every day that you save a life. But you can change lives every day with an act of kindness in our community.