This man with Down syndrome can’t read or write, but learned how to use a smartphone—just in time to save a life

December 5, 2017 7:02 pm Last Updated: December 6, 2017 11:59 am

Raising a child with a disability can be a challenge. Terry and Don Murray, from Phoenix, Arizona, have a son named Kevin who has Down syndrome. His whole life, they’ve known there were limits to what he could do. Kevin, who is 35 years old, can’t read or write.

But recently, he showed everyone he was capable of more than they ever imagined.

(FOX 10 Phoenix/Screenshot)

Despite his limitations, the Murrays felt it was important to teach Kevin how to use a smartphone, in case of an emergency. But Kevin couldn’t understand the text on the screen—so with the help of the care services of United Cerebral Palsy of Central Arizona, they came up with a workaround.

Instead of having to remember a number or read a list of contacts, they made it so Kevin could identify the call recipient simply by recognizing the photos.

(FOX 10 Phoenix/Screenshot)

It worked, and soon Kevin comfortably understood how to operate the phone. It was considered a good life skill for him to have—but no one realized how vitally important it would soon become.

This past Labor Day weekend, Don Murray, Kevin’s father, was out doing yard work, climbing up a 15-foot ladder. Kevin was nearby, but his mother Terry was out of the house.

But suddenly, disaster struck.

Don slipped off the ladder, breaking several bones, including in his back.

Lying on the ground unable to move, he was badly hurt and could have died from his injuries—until Kevin stepped up to save the day.

Soon, Terry got the call.

“He was crying and said, ‘mom, dad on the ground. Dad hurt. Dad on the ground,'” Terry recalled to FOX 10. “Immediately, I said, ‘I got to go. I got to get home, something is wrong.'”

(FOX 10 Phoenix/Screenshot)

Don was rushed to the hospital, where he was in intensive care for a week, and the rehabilitation center for six weeks after that.

He was badly hurt, but alive, thanks to some prior planning and his son’s quick thinking.

“I thought he was pretty smart for doing that,” Don told FOX 10. “I thank him for it too.”

(FOX 10 Phoenix/Screenshot)

The couple is also just grateful they had the foresight to teach Kevin how to use a phone—a decision that proved to be a life-saver.

“I’m so thankful that we were able to teach Kevin how to use the phone,” Terry said.

“I don’t know what would’ve happened. I really don’t.”