Alabama First Graders Commended for Saving Teacher's Life

Now known as Hodges’ Heroes, the students in Tracy Hodges’ first-grade class sprang into action when their teacher experienced a medical emergency. 

Hodges' Heroes
Photo: Ashley Graves

The bond shared between teachers and students is special. First-grade teacher Tracy Hodges found out just how special that bond can be when her students came to her rescue after she experienced a medical emergency while teaching last month.

Hodges, a first-grade teacher at Cedar Hill Elementary in Ardmore, Alabama, was conducting a small group lesson on the morning of January 20, when she began to feel off.

"I sat down, and one of my students sitting at the table—I couldn't even make out the children at the table," Hodges told WAAY31. "He asked me what was going on, and at that time I knew something was up, so I asked them to go get help, and they did, and that's the last thing I remember."

Soon after requesting help, Hodges began tremoring. She didn't know it at the time, but she was experiencing a seizure caused by COVID-19.

Hodges' Heroes
Ashley Graves

"At first, they thought I was just playing because we had been singing and dancing, and when they saw me tremoring, they just thought that it was something I was doing, but then they realized that it was much more than that," she said.

When Hodges became unconscious and unresponsive, her brave five- and six-year-olds didn't hesitate. They quickly found help.

"On that day, they were courageous, demonstrated their strength and bravery, and now have a real story to tell," Hodges said in Facebook post shared by the Limestone County Schools page.

On February 16, Hodges' students, now known as Hodges' Heroes, were recognized in a special ceremony attended by classmates and family members, as well as the Limestone County Sheriff's Office, Ardmore Police and Fire Departments, and the Limestone County Schools superintendent.

Hodges' Heroes
Ashley Graves

"There were many heroes that day," Cedar Hill Elementary School Principal Glen Garner said at the ceremony. "Everyone stepped up that day because that's what heroes do, but none so more than you. Hodges' Heroes, that's the class I know."

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Today, Ms. Hodges is fully recovered and glad to be back teaching her little heroes.

"I think I was at the right place at the right time because had I been home, I would've been by myself," Hodges said. "I just thank God every day for them."

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