HILLIARD (WCMH) — Police officers are not trained as medical professionals, but one local School Resource Officer stepped up and took action when he noticed something different with a student.
NBC4 spoke with that officer and a thankful mother.
Hilliard School Resource Officer Jon Gleason said he was pulling up at Darby High School in his cruiser, when he noticed senior Blake Mounts walking in to school looking very pale.
Officer Gleason said he convinced Blake to see the school nurse, which led to a visit to his family doctor. Blake’s mother Shelly Mounts said that led to Nationwide Children’s Hospital, where Blake was diagnosed with childhood Leukemia.
Mounts said what Officer Gleason did makes him a hero.
“Had he not done that I don’t know when he might have been diagnosed, our family doctor called us at 7:30 saying ‘Hey there is a problem, get him to Children’s,’ and that happened all within a matter of hours of his visit to the nurse,” Mounts said.
But everyone involved said the final diagnosis still floored them.
“It is the worst, I am sure this is the hardest thing we will ever have to go through,” said Mounts. She said the family is holding up well and Blake is being strong.
Gleason had a difficult time keeping his emotions in check listening to Shelly talk about Blake’s condition and she teased him not to cry. Gleason said people tend to forget about officers’ humanity.
“We are humans, I am nothing but a man in this uniform, I’ve got feelings too,” Gleason said.
He said his feelings are especially strong when it comes to the 1,500 or so teens attending Darby High School.
“In my four and a half years here, these kids are my kids,” Gleason said.
Gleason said he has been to the hospital to visit Blake.
Mounts said Blake is going through his first days of chemo and in need of long-term treatment.
“He is keeping a positive attitude and is using humor to keep his spirits up,” she said.
“I am so proud of him stepping up and intervening like he has, and we hope and pray the intervention was soon enough that Blake will be able to recover,” Hilliard Police Chief Robert Fisher.
Officer Gleason said what he did was not heroic, just being observant, the Mounts disagree. After the interview with NBC4 Gleason turned to Mounts and exclaimed, “I am not a hero!” She replied, “I said, yes you are! Yes you are, yes you are! You are our hero that is all that matters.” Gleason opened his arms and hugged Shelly Mounts and her 15-year-old daughter Taylor.
If you would like to help, Blake’s mother said he needs a bone marrow transplant and if it doesn’t come from his family, she said please check to see if you could be a match.
Mounts highly recommends not just for Blake but any child with cancer you can go to the web site bethematch.org.
“They will send you a swab kit and you send it back and there is no cost.” She said “you can save someone’s life.”