PJ Brewer-Laye is being dubbed a hero for his quick thinking.

Sometimes when we face an emergency, we’re forced to act quickly and without thinking. And often, that quick thinking can make a big difference in the outcome of a situation.

So when the world heard about an 11-year-old boy whose smart actions with a car helped his grandmother out during a medical emergency, he was dubbed a hero.

A Medical Emergency

little boy driving a car

Back in 2020, an 11-year-old boy named PJ Brewer-Laye was playing outside his home in Indianapolis. He was driving his go-kart up and down the street while his grandmother, Angela, went for a walk. It’s a routine they were both used to.

However, when Angela was about a mile and a half from their house, her blood pressure dropped. She began to feel shaky and had spots in her vision.

PJ noticed the change in his grandmother’s behavior, so he grabbed her car keys and jumped in her Mercedes. He backed the car out of the driveway, drove to get her, and helped her return home to take her medication.

“I was leaning against a stop sign, then all of a sudden, I looked to my right and I saw my car, my Mercedes-Benz coming towards me. Wait a minute. Looked in the car. It was him, it was PJ,” Angela recalled to 11Alive.

“He noticed my demeanor [and] that’s when I guess he sprung into action,” Angela said.

A Young Hero

Obviously, PJ doesn’t have a driver’s license (he’s only 11, after all!), but Angela said he handled the car like a pro. She explained how he learned to drive from her husband, and that the two of them would often move cars around in their yard. However, he had never driven on the street by himself until that moment.

Now, Angela is even more proud of her grandson, knowing how calm and collected he is in an emergency.

“He did not go up the curb, in the grass, or nothing. Pulled down in the driveway and into the garage,” she said. “He’s an extra special little boy, and he doesn’t ask for anything in return.”

Since the story aired, many people were quick to call PJ a hero. Thousands of users shared their comments on YouTube after the video was posted, saying how he will grow up to be an outstanding man and that his entire family should be proud.

“He should be a paramedic,” one person wrote. “I’m currently studying EMS, and this little guy is already demonstrating all the core values they teach us about staying calm and collected in emergencies. Even more impressive [that] he can stay calm when it’s his own family.”

“PJ handled the situation with the utmost calmness. Eleven years old… amazing. Very, very proud of your grandson saving your life,” wrote another.

Staying Calm in an Emergency

It’s not always easy to stay cool and collected during an emergency situation, but there are certain ways to try. Take a deep breath in and count to three before reacting, if you can. Then, remember to assess the situation, call who you need to call, and care for the person you need to care for.

Of course, the best way to remain calm in an emergency is to be prepared for one in the first place. While you might not be comfortable teaching your young kids to drive before it’s legal, there are other ways to walk through emergencies with children.

Teach them how to call 9-1-1, for example. At home, go over your family fire plan every couple of months to make sure kids know the best protocol. And have them memorize important phone numbers in case they ever get lost or need to find you.

No one likes to think of emergency situations or bad things happening. But, by having these conversations and planning ahead, hopefully, you and your family can stay calm in an emergency situation if one ever comes up — just like PJ did with his grandmother.