Life Scout TJ D., 14, has been awarded the Medal of Merit by the Boy Scouts of America for using the skills he has learned through scouting to save the life of his grandmother.
In April 2022, TJ found his grandmother passed out on the floor of her home in Franconia, Virginia. She was delirious and unable to get herself up off the floor of her living room. She didn’t remember falling. Eventually, she pieced everything together and realized that she had fallen from her couch and been stuck between a table and the sofa since the early morning. TJ found her about eight hours after she fell, weak and unable to move. Doctors later diagnosed a kidney stone that she didn’t know she had. She had become extremely septic from it being lodged. Her muscles had also started breaking down because of laying on the floor for so long. Doctors said that if TJ had not found her, started first aid and eventually alerted his parents, his grandmother might not have made it. She was in the hospital for about two weeks recovering from not only the sepsis, but also the kidney stone and muscle weakness.
TJ was awarded the Medal of Merit for his efforts in July and was presented with the medal, uniform knot and certificate during a Court of Honor at Troop 1107 on Aug. 28.
TJ is a very active Life Scout who has been working toward Eagle in Troop 1107 — chartered by St. John’s Lutheran Church in Franconia — since 2020, rarely missing a meeting, camp or service project. He joined scouting as a Tiger Cub with Pack 867 — also chartered by St. John’s — in 2015. He has attended SeaBase (2022) and National Jamboree (2023) and plans on going on a Northern Tier Trek (2024) as well as Summit Bechtel Reserve (2025) to get the High Adventure Triple Crown. He has also taken ILST and plans to participate in NYLT this January, since he has served his troop as Patrol Quartermaster, APL, PL, Chaplain’s Aide, Bugler, Instructor and ASPL. He is currently the Troop Guide and Assistant Patrol Leader.
He is a freshman at Hayfield Secondary School. When not participating in Scouts or in class, he played Little League Baseball with Central Springfield Little League and is a new member of Springfield’s Babe Ruth League. He is also a member of the Hayfield cross country team and is a novice black belt in taekwondo at Capital Martial Arts Academy.