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Dixon boy’s quick thinking helps grandpa after suffering a stroke

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Kamdyn Mickley

ROCHELLE (WREX) — Marissa Mickley plays the role of both mom and dad.

The single parent's entire world revolves around her two kids.

5-year-old Kamdyn and 5-month-old Journee.

With two young kids, Mickley relies heavily on her parents for support.

Thankfully, they are happy to help their daughter and grandchildren.

Mickley is particularly attached to her father, the man she calls her best friend.

"He's always helped me. He makes sure me and the kids are okay," Mickley said.

Unfortunately, grandpa's caretaker role was reversed a few weeks ago.

5-year-old Kamdyn was staying with his grandpa in Rochelle when all of sudden, grandpa collapsed.

"The chair moved and papa fell. He was drooping all over the floor," Kamdyn Mickley said.

All alone with his immobile grandfather, Kamdyn did something probably not expected of a young kid.

He put a pillow under grandpa's head, got his phone, and found his mom's contact to call her and let her know what happened.

While Kamdyn calling mom wasn't out of the ordinary, nothing could've prepared Marissa for what her son was about to tell her.

"Normally, the call is along the lines of 'Momma, come get me,'" Marissa Mickley said.

"I answered it and he said 'Momma, call Amber. Call the ambulance. Papa fell and he can't get up.'"

Kamdyn's actions helped get family over to the house and eventually get first responders on scene to help.

Rochelle Police officer Matthew Wittenberg was the first to arrive at the house and was not expecting to see a 5-year-old be the one to explain to him what the emergency was.

"I went and knocked on the door and I was greeted by a young child. He directed to me where grandpa was and I found him lying on the ground," Wittenberg said.

Granpda was eventually airlifted to OSF Saint Anthony's where he was diagnosed with a stroke and then suffered a heart attack after getting to the hospital.

Thankfully, a few days later, grandpa was able to sit up right and speak while regaining mobility in his left side.

Since the accident, Kamdyn's full focus has been about his grandpa's health and wanting to know how he's doing.

It's very possible the young boy saved his loved one's life that day with knowing how to call someone to help.

Officer Wittenberg, a father himself, sees this as a way to convey an overarching message to parents to teaching their kids what to do and who to reach out to in case of an emergency.

"They need to know who to contact in an emergency. They need to know what constitutes an emergency as well." Wittenberg said.

The scary situation also led Marissa to get her son a phone to use.

While she doesn't love him having the technology, she understands now he can be reliable and in a way responsible for her dad.

"If he's here and something happens to my dad's phone, he contact me if something ever happens," Marissa Mickley said.

"He helps me a lot with everything and just makes me feel a lot better about stuff I have going on myself."

Marissa is now working hard to pay for her dad's medical bills and make some renovations to his house to make it easier for him when he does return home.

If you want to help Marissa in some way, you can by clicking here.

If you know of anyone else standing out in our community for trying to make it better or setting an example like Kamdyn is, you can fill out a nomination form here or you can reach out to

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Evan Leake

Evan Leake anchors for 13 News Today and 13 News at Noon. Evan grew up in Darien, Illinois, a south-west suburb of Chicago. He came to WREX in 2017 and worked his way to the anchor desk in May of 2019. He coordinates both the Teacher of the Week and Inspiring 815 series for 13 News. You can connect with Evan at or Evan Leake on Facebook.

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