Mom's Emotional Letter Praising Teens Who Saved Daughter's Life

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Mom's Emotional Letter Praising Teens Who Saved Daughter's Life

Shonda Elford, right, wrote a touching letter thanking the teenagers who helped her daughter, Bryanna Perez-Elford, left, after she got in a car crash. (Photo: Shonda Elford)

When one mom got a call that her 20-year-old daughter’s car hit a telephone pole and flipped over, she immediately imagined the worst – but thanks to five teenagers, she knew everyone was ok.

Bryanna Perez-Elford was making the 50-minute drive from her home in Defiance, Ohio, to Delphos, on April 12, when, according to her mother, she momentarily took her eyes off the road. In that moment, the car hit a pole, and flipped several times into a field. “A car full of kids behind her saw everything that happened, and they pulled over and got to her within minutes,” Perez-Elford’s mom, Shonda Elford, tells Yahoo Parenting. “She was in a daze, trying to get out of her car when they reached her and helped her get out. They stayed with her until the EMS and her father and I got there.”

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Elford was so grateful to the teens in the car that she wrote a letter to the editor of the local paper, the Delphos Herald, acknowledging their brave act. The letter, which ran on Sunday, read: “My daughter was involved in a car accident on April 12, 2015. She was on ST RT 66 heading to Delphos to visit with a friend. As she was driving, she took her eyes off the road to scratch her leg. In a matter of seconds, every parent’s worse nightmare happened. She lost control of her car, hit a telephone poll and her car continued to flip into a field. There was a car of teenagers behind her that witnessed this happen. As other cars continued to drive past, these young adults pulled over and proceeded to help my daughter. I cannot thank these kids enough for stopping to help my daughter and wait with her until the EMS, sheriff and her father and I arrived. Fortunately, this story has a happy ending … thank goodness for seatbelts and airbags! My daughter walked away with just a few bumps and bruises. The car is totaled, but cars can be replaced. I wish I could give these young people anything they wish for to show my gratitude and how thankful I am to still have my daughter here to hug. Her father and I would like to thank you and publicly acknowledge your act of compassion and kindness. Your parents should be proud to have raised such caring young adults. So to Justin Moenter, Danielle Harman, Chase Harman, Gravin Seffernick and Austin Lucas……THANK YOU!”

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The letter made the rounds on Facebook, with a number of users commenting that it’s nice to hear about such good behavior from teenagers, who are often in the news for acting entitled or selfish. “There are really thoughtful young kids out there…We don’t get to meet many of them,” wrote Dorothy Landwehr. “Don’t hear of many kids that would do that kind of thing anymore!!” wrote Dawn Schulte-Grubb. “In today’s world we always hear of the bad news. This is good for the next generation to see…” added Tammy Cottrell.

Elford, who is divorced, says she wishes she could do more for the teens she considers heroes. “I’m a single mom, so I couldn’t do much, but I wanted to tell them how grateful I am and I want their parents to be proud of them,” she says. “It’s a small community here in northwest Ohio, so with this letter they will get recognized. People in the grocery store may say ‘good job’ and give them the recognition they deserve — and I hope that makes them feel good.”

It was especially important to recognize the teens’ parents, Elford says. “It’s nice for parents to be thanked for being good parents,” she says. “We don’t always get to feel that way. Everything we do, we do for our kids’ own good, but you don’t always think they listen. They’re kids, they think they know it all. So I wanted these parents to be proud.”

James Lucas, father of Austin, one of the Samaritans, says he didn’t even know about his son’s good deed until reading the paper. “My boy is a very humble child – he doesn’t say a whole lot about what he does, but he stays out of trouble,” James tells Yahoo Parenting. “Once I read the article, he said he came up on an accident and pulled over to help console [Perez-Elford]. Nothing too major about it.”

But proud father James added, “I was on cloud nine for a while, that my boy is a good kid doing something good. As a parent to a 16-year-old, you think ‘what kind of trouble are they getting into today?’ It made me feel good that he’s learning right from wrong.”

Elford says she still hears from some of the teens, who have reached out to check on her daughter and send get-well notes. “She’s got some bumps and bruises and her shoulder and neck are sore, but she’s going to be okay,” Elford says. “With so much negativity in the news, it feels great to have good news with a good outcome. Maybe this will inspire people be sure they always stop to help, but all I wanted to do was thank the kids.”

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