Andover Townsman, Andover, MA


March 5, 2013

11-year-old dubbed hero

Boy saves baby-sitter with 911 call

When nurses in the intensive care unit at a local hospital started clapping for an Andover fifth-grader when he came to the unit, his mother knew what he had done was a really big deal.

When his baby-sitter had a severe medical reaction, Nicholas Duda, 11, kept his head and called 911 for help.

“He saved my life...he is my hero,” Corinne Keeler said of Nicholas, a Chandler Road resident and a student at High Plain Elementary School who plays on a basketball team for the YMCA in Andover.

“I wouldn’t be here if not for Nicholas,” said Keeler, who lives in Salem, N.H. “I know I wouldn’t.”

Nicholas’ mother, Michele Duda, sat proudly on the family’s leather coach holding back tears as the story of how her son called 911 and stayed with the nearly unconscious Keeler until paramedics arrived was retold to a reporter.

Keeler babysits Nicholas, and Michele Duda said she “is like family.” Keeler is also a crossing guard at High Plain Elementary School and works at Stop&Shop in North Andover.

The medical incident happened Friday, Feb. 22, around 3 p.m. Nicholas was at Memorial Hall Library with Keeler.

“I had a project due, that’s why we were there,” Nicholas said.

Suddenly, Keeler, who had had some polyps removed days earlier, did not feel well. She and Nicholas drove to his home and she ran to an upstairs bathroom.

“She was making weird noises so I went to check on wasn’t good,” Nicholas said. “I saw red and it was blood.”

He dialed 911 and stayed on the phone while waiting for the paramedics. When the paramedics arrived, he had already made sure his dog, Rex, was out of the way, and directed them upstairs. Keeler was placed on a gurney and taken to Lawrence General Hospital. She was admitted to the ICU and stayed for three days.

Text Only | Photo Reprints

    U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES/Courtesy photo Dr. Howard Koh will step down as U.S. assistant secretary for health after five years to rejoin Harvard School of Public Health this fall in a new position in its Department of Health Policy and Management.

    Koh to rejoin Harvard School of Public Health Posted 11 days ago 1 Photo
  • 48 locals to pedal in Pan-Mass Challenge Posted 11 days ago

    Courtesy photo Hannah Currie is spending 10 days this summer becoming immersed in the music industry at GRAMMY Camp in Los Angeles.

    Currie hits note at LA's GRAMMY Camp Posted 11 days ago 1 Photo
  • South Church names new senior pastor Posted 18 days ago

    COURTESY PHOTO Andover residents Patrick James, left, Adam Geaslen, Ryan Byrd and Dan Bryant claimed first place at the 35th annual Boys & Girls Club of Lawrence Golf Tournament at Indian Ridge Country Club in town.

    Local foursome aces Boys & Girls Club tourney Posted 18 days ago 2 Photos

    COURTESY PHOTO The Marble sisters --Anna, 8, left, and Isabel, 11 -- post-donatin to Locks of Love.

    Sisters pair up to donate pony tails to Locks of Love Posted 18 days ago 4 Photos
  • AT HOST1

    DESI SMITH/Staff photo Former Andover residents Dana Cohen and his wife, Ginny, back, left, have regularly hosted foreign exchange students since 1989. Farrah Moussa, back right, from Egypt, and Paula Valverde, front right, from Spain, are the latest students to spend a year with the Cohens, who now live in Gloucester.

    Former Andover couple welcomes exchange students for quarter-century Posted 18 days ago 4 Photos
  • Thursday, July 3, 2014
  • LENO1

    FILE PHOTO Jay Leno, who honed his comedy skills growing up in Andover, will receive the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor this fall during a performance at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington.

    In good comedy company Posted 25 days ago 2 Photos

    ACT 3.jpg Susan Stott, third from left, accepts the Opening Doors to Affordable Housing in Andover Award from Andover Community Trust directors, from left, Don Schroeder, treasurer; John Pearson, president; and Joan Johnson, clerk.

    Affordable housing advocates honored Posted 25 days ago 2 Photos

    Salim Tabit

    Townspeople in the News Posted 25 days ago 1 Photo

Pictures of the Week