Greenville boy helps save his father’s life

  • Tyson Bouley is flanked by family members during an award ceremony at Highbridge Hill Elementary School, when Bouley was given an award by local first responders for placing the 911 call that would save his father from a potentially-fatal drug overdose.  Courtesy photo

  • Tyson Bouley, 7, of Greenville, was honored by first responders Tuesday for his efforts in helping to save his father from a potentially-fatal drug overdose last month.  Courtesy photo

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Thursday, October 05, 2017 9:49AM

Seven-year-old Tyson Bouley knocked on the locked bathroom door in his grandparents’ Greenville home. He knew something was wrong with his father, having just heard the thud of his body hitting the floor.

Tyson called out for his father and tried to open the door. When he couldn’t get in, he calmly dialed 911.

The second grader’s actions helped save his father from a fatal heroin overdose, according to emergency officials, who presented him with an award on Tuesday in front of his classmates at Highbridge Hill Elementary School in New Ipswich.

“To me, it’s pretty amazing and unique because of his age and maturity,” said Temple-Greenville Police Chief James McTague. “He was calm, cool, and collected. In a case like this, time is everything.”

In an interview Wednesday evening, Tyson said he felt good about the award, and was unsure exactly how he got through such a tough situation in a calm manner.

“I’m feeling a lot better,” said Tyson.

Tyson was alone with his father on Sept. 9, according to his grandmother and legal guardian Debbie Bouley, because she had to work and her husband Ronnie was taking part in a motorcycle run to benefit suicide prevention and awareness.

Having been clean for the past seven or eight months, Debbie felt that her step-son had been taking the steps to turn his life around.

“We saw that his dad was going to work every day, it started looking like a good family situation,” said Debbie, who said Tyson’s father had been living at the house since May. “There were a lot of improvements seen, with how everything was going.”

First responders were called to the house around 11 a.m. Greenville Fire Lt. Jeff Lacroix said Tyson showed everyone how to get into the house and to the bathroom while continually staying on the phone with 911 until responders were leaving the scene.

“He was calm as a cucumber,” said Lacroix, who said such an award hasn’t been awarded to a civilian in about five years. “Without him calling 911, this would’ve been fatal.”

After breaking down the bathroom door, first responders were able to administer Narcan to Tyson’s father and transport him to Monadnock Community Hospital, according to McTague.

Debbie and Ronnie have been Tyson’s legal guardians since August, with Tyson living at their house since Jan. 10. Tyson’s mother and father both struggle with addiction, according to Debbie, with Tyson's mother also recently overdosing. 

“He knows by looking at them if they’ve been using, and he’s quick to call them out on it,” said Debbie. “He was born into this. Our hope is to break the trend.”

Debbie has had many conversations with Tyson about what happened on Sept. 9. She said Tyson has recently began to process the emotions of what happened and recently had a “meltdown” at school. 

“I think reality hit for him… he realized he could have lost his dad,” said Debbie, who said Tyson’s father is currently enrolled in an outpatient program and is staying with other family members.

“I’m horrified that [Tyson] was put into this situation, but I’m amazed how he handled everything,” said Debbie. “I’ve told him many times that he is a hero.”

Nicholas Handy can be reached at 924-7172 ext. 235 or nhandy@ledgertranscript.com. He is also on Twitter @nhandyMLT.