Young hero honored for bravery - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Young hero honored for bravery

June 4, 2003

Blakely-  Thirteen-year-old Keion Bryant is small in size, but he's a big hero.

Last week, Keion heard his neighbor, Vera Jackson screaming for help. "I remember she was in the house screaming for my grandmother," said Bryant.

Her home was engulfed in flames, but Keion ran into the house. "She was three feet from the heater and I pulled her out."

He went back in after Vera's sister Bessie Ross, but she resisted the help. Bessie died in the fire.

Wednesday, the state fire commissioner joined a special ceremony to honor Keion. "At age 13, a fire can be so devastating, so terrifying," said John Oxendine, Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner.

But Keion is no stranger to emergencies. He's been a medical risk most of his life, living with a pacemaker since he was seven and suffering from other respiratory problems.

"There's no way we can say thank you for what he did," said Delmar Johnson, Jackson's grandson. "We could say thank you everyday and it still wouldn't be enough."

"There's no greater show of love than to either lay down your life or be prepared to, to risk yourself," Oxendine said. "And that's exactly what he did."

But being a hero is not all glory. To Keion, it's a tragedy that haunts his memory. "I still think about it."

He probably always will.

Oxendine made Keion a honorary state fire marshal. The Blakely City Commission gave him a $100 savings bond.

Posted at 9:27PM by brannon.stewart@walb.com