Kids’ intuition saves Homer man’s life

HOMER, N.Y. – Meredith Boss was working the day shift at St. Joseph’s Hospital Health Center in Syracuse on Monday when she received a phone call from one of her kids.

The voice on the other end suggested something wasn’t right.

“Caelynn told me, ‘Mom, papa doesn’t look good,’” Meredith says of her 9-year-old daughter.

Meredith Boss

Meredith Boss with her son, Nicholas Perry, 13, and daughter Caelynn Perry, 9, at their home in the village of Homer Friday evening (Peter Blanchard/Cortland Voice)

Meredith called her mom, a nurse at Crouse Hospital in Syracuse, and the two of them left work early to attend to their father, Robert, who was at Meredith’s home in the village of Homer.

They took a blood pressure reading and discovered his heart rate was less than 40 beats per minute. The average heart rate for a 70-year-old male is between 75 and 128 beats per minute, according to the American Heart Association.

“His face turned bright red, like a cherry,” Caelynn recalls.

The family called an ambulance, and Robert was taken to Cortland Regional Medical Center, where they discovered that his pacemaker was no longer working.

“They felt it had something to do with the pacemaker settings,” Meredith said, “but his heart is just getting weak.”

Eleven years ago, Meredith's father suffered a heart attack that required him to have emergency open-heart surgery.

The event had a life-changing effect on his daughter.

“I promised him, ‘If you come back, I’ll go back to school and become a nurse,” she says.

Robert Boss

Robert Boss with his wife, Mary Jane (photo provided)

Meredith kept her promise, and went on to get her nursing degree at the Crouse Hospital College of Nursing.

Meredith, a single mom, says she and her mother split their time to watch over Robert, who is 73.

Meredith is certain that her children’s actions that day saved her father’s life.

“I don’t know if many other children would have picked up on that,” she says. “We all cried knowing they saved my dad’s life.”

But are her kids aware that their quick thinking saved their grandfather’s life?

We’ll let Caelynn answer that question for you.

“I know I’m amazing, because I’m a superhero!”


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