If you ask Bill Ward if he’s a hero, he is likely to shake his head and tell you “no.”  But Friday morning on the Donna and Molly Show, Mr. Ward was acknowledged for a good deed he performed – a deed that many might call “heroic.”

Representative Lee Denney and Senator Jim Halligan came to KUSH Friday morning to present Bill Ward with a proclamation and a citation noting the deed that saved a little boy’s life over 10 years ago.

The story is one that is very close to home.  KUSH’s very own Angela (Angie) Britton shared the story recently when she nominated Ward for Neighbor of the Week.

“I want to nominate Bill Ward as Neighbor of the Week.  A totally small and insignificant gesture for someone so deserving,” Angie wrote.  “Ten years ago, he saved my son’s life.”

Angie went on to tell the story of the day that she and her children were at Stroud Lake when suddenly one of her twin daughters stepped into a hole and began to panic and pull the other down with her.  As she ran to help her daughters, Angie’s son Nathan, then 4, unbeknownst to her, followed her into the water.  Returning to the beach, with a girl under each arm, she realized her son was nowhere in sight.

Her heart pounding in her ears, Angie saw a man running down the beach.  Quickly he dove in, bringing Nathan up with him. 

Bill Ward and his wife LaVonna, who were on the dock fishing, had witnessed the little boy running after his mother.  Knowing the gravity of the situation all too well, Ward was quick to take action.

Ward noted that Nathan had stopped breathing and shook him as he began to prepare to give the child CPR.  Luckily, that was enough – at that point Nathan began sputtering and breathing on his own.

Shaken up by the incident, Angie quickly loaded up her children and left, failing to get the name of the man who saved her son’s life.

“I was still shaking and so upset…” Angie said, “Even when he stopped me to make sure I was ok, I did not get his name.  I was feeling like a terrible parent – I knew I should have been watching my children closer.  I also knew that I could have possibly lost all three of my children that day.”

In spite of the many attempts Angie made to find out the name of the man on the dock, it wasn’t until seven years later during a conversation with Kent Clovis that she finally learned the name of her hero.

“I was talking to Kent about it because I figured the person was from Stroud and I knew Kent knew a lot of folks from there,” Angie said.  “As soon as I told him what had happened, he told me he thought he knew who it was and that they lived right here in Cushing on Schlegel Road.”

Angie lost no time in making the phone call to Bill Ward and it took him no time to acknowledge he was indeed the man who had jumped in to save her son’s life.  They agreed to meet.  Angie took Nathan, now nearly half grown, with her to meet Mr. Ward.

“He told me that it was his birthday – and what a great gift it was to see us,” Angie said.  “I knew then, that God’s hand was in it.”

Meeting again on Ward’s birthday was just one part of God’s handiwork.  Another part goes back to that fateful day at Stroud Lake.

“When I saw what was happening, I had to do something,” Ward told KUSH listeners as tears welled up in his eyes, “I couldn’t let something like that happen again.  You see, my four-year-old grandson drowned in my pool the year before.”

Yes, God does indeed work in mysterious ways…

*Thank you Angie for sharing this story and special thanks to Bill and LaVonna Ward for allowing us to share theirs.