The winter storm that swept across the United States in December 2018 saw quite a few regions blanketed with a thick layer of snow. Many households in North Carolina were left without power for days, and things would’ve turned gloomy for one family in Lenoir had not this hero of a National Guard stepped in.
Soldiers with the 690th BSB are assisting NCDOT plow crews and other state agencies recovering vehicles and ensuring…
Sergeant Donovan McPherson, 27, was hailed a hero across social media after footage emerged of him carrying a baby to safety in the snowstorm.
Lenoir was pounded by an astonishing 18 inches of snow, making the roads unnavigable.
As the snow threw the state into chaos, members of the North Carolina National Guard were called up to help plow roads, tow vehicles out of ditches, and coordinate with the State response teams.
McPherson was entrusted with the task of escorting emergency responders and providing backup services to first-aid workers who needed help. As he was driving through Lenoir, emergency services received a call that a family needed to be rescued.
Sergeant McPherson explained the difficult conditions that day and said, “Especially where the house was and trying to turn and navigate through the snow to make sure we didn’t go off in a ditch.”
Earlier today a Soldier with the 883rd Eng CO assisted the NC Emergency Management All Hazard Response Team dispatched to Caldwell County transport a baby to Hudson, N.C. Well done!!
According to WRAL, the call was from a family with a small baby. They had been cut off from power for three days as a tree had fallen on a power line. The family decided to call emergency services as they had to get the baby across to Hudson, North Carolina, for medical help.
“The baby was recently sick,” McPherson said. “They were worried the baby would get sick again.”
As McPherson approached the house, he noticed the mother struggling to carry multiple items out of the house along with the infant.
McPherson came to the rescue and offered to carry the baby, which was in a car seat and covered with blankets. He later revealed that the mother was very grateful to the National Guard members. “She just thanked us,” he said.
He told Fox 46 Charlotte, “I actually didn’t get to see her before because she was covered up.”
The Guard, who shared the rescue on Facebook, wrote: “Earlier today a Soldier with the 883rd Eng CO assisted the NC Emergency Management All Hazard Response Team dispatched to Caldwell County transport a baby to Hudson, N.C. Well done!!”
McPherson said that the family was now staying with a relative in Hudson who had electricity at their home. Jessica Gilbert, the infant’s mother, told FOX 46 Charlotte, “I just put my faith in him to get us there safely.”
As the soldier’s compassionate act drew praise across social media, Gilbert wrote on Facebook, “I want to thank you guys so much for helping my baby get to a warm place with us having no power.”
Stephanie Sides Gilbert, the baby’s grandmother, wrote on the National Guard’s Facebook page: “Thank you all for working so hard & helping my grandaughter get to a warm area to help maintain her body temperature.
“She would have been out too long to make it to my house. And also a big thank you to responding Caldwell County rescue. All the people were extremely nice and helpful.”
The baby’s father, James High too was grateful to McPherson for his efforts and said, “Imagine what the world could do if everyone could be like him.”
Many commented on the photo of McPherson walking in the snow, writing “God Bless,” and “Thank you for your service.”
One netizen wrote: “I have a great appreciation for all who have to work in these conditions! Thank you whoever you are!”
McPherson’s sister also commented on the post: “That’s my brother so proud.”
Thanks to my loving and caring family to come join me on such a short notice to see me Graduate!! Just hitting 1 of many milestones I've set for this Adventure I call life!! 🎓🎓
This event marked McPherson’s first rescue in 2018’s record-breaking winter storm. McPherson, a student at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, has been a member of the National Guard for the past 11 years.
“It makes me feel good about what I do and hopefully encourage more people to do good things during the holiday season,” McPherson said.
He said that he has enjoyed every moment of it and plans to continue for nine more years while he pursues his degree.
There could be many more families out there who are bearing the brunt of this extreme weather. But people like McPherson prove that help is always there at hand, even if it’s one family at a time.
Our Soldiers are and will continue to assist NC Emergency Management, other state agencies, and the citizens in the western regions as long as we are needed.
Watch the video below: