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'Just incredible': Billings middle school brothers save neighbor's life in freezing cold

Aaron (left) and Thomas (right)
Posted at 4:30 PM, Nov 21, 2023

BILLINGS — In late October, middle school brothers Aaron and Thomas Waldo stumbled upon an injured man in Billings Heights who had slipped on ice during the area's first snowfall of the season. Thanks to their quick thinking, they were able to help save the man’s life.

While most children are busy making their Christmas lists, these two young boys are reflecting on their recent act of heroism.

“It honestly kind of feels good knowing that me and him saved somebody’s life that day,” said Thomas Waldo, an 11-year-old, on Monday. “One small act of kindness could change your life and somebody else’s life."

Aaron (left) and Thomas (right)
Aaron (left) and Thomas (right)

The brother's lives have forever been changed.

“The more you help out, I guess, the more your life will change," said Aaron Waldo, Thomas's 13-year-old brother, on Monday. "Like what has happened with us right now."

The boys were on their way to school when something strange caught their attention.

"We heard someone yelling ‘Help’," Aaron said. "We kind of hesitated a little bit because we thought it was a trap or something."

They quickly realized the severity of the situation.

“As we got closer he moved a little bit and it looked like he was in a lot of pain," Aaron said. "He made us take care of his dog, and we put him inside and I grabbed his phone for him and he called someone."

The neighbor's dog
The neighbor's dog

Their elderly neighbor had slipped on ice while walking his dog and was in desperate need of aid.

Billings Public Schools told MTN News the man broke his femur in two places and couldn’t move. He was on the ground for more than an hour before the boys found him.

“We weren’t late that day actually," Aaron said. "I don’t know how."

When paramedics arrived, they couldn’t find a vein because the man was so cold, meaning without the boy's assistance he might not have survived.

The boys were later recognized at a school assembly for their good deed.

Their mom, Marika, says she wasn’t surprised when she heard of the boy's good deed.

"When they called me that morning and told me that they had found an elderly gentleman who needed help, it wasn’t a surprise that they did that because I know that’s their heart," Marika said on Monday. "All of these boys really have a heart of gold and caring and a way to give back to anybody that needs it."

Waldo family
Waldo family

The mother of six said she and the boy’s father worked hard to ensure their children had giving spirits. The boys often spend their free time volunteering. One of the other children, Stephan, was also recognized for giving back to the community.

“It was always important for their dad and I to make sure that they were good human beings and that if there’s a need, they fill it," Marika said. "Stephan was recognized through the Better Billings Foundation through Flip Flops and Fancy. For multiple years, he helped out in the schools wherever he saw a need without even being asked. So he was recognized that way."

Stephan's award
Stephan's award

Marika has worked with the elderly community for more than 11 years and recently opened her own in-home senior care business, Aurora Senior Care.

“A couple of things that set Aurora out as being different is that we’re the only in-home care company that will take individuals to go visit gravesites," Marika said. "We also are going to be partnering with the college for volunteer opportunities. Veterans get a discount 100% of the time. We also have hardship scholarships available because everyone needs help."

At a time when crime seems to be peaking in the Magic City, Marika said she finds comfort in knowing her boys are searching for the good.

"Something that’s really been amazing for me is to read the comments on the stories that the school posted. To hear people say, ‘Reading this story I have tears in my eyes.’ Or, ‘Wow, it’s so nice to hear of something good happening.’ I just want to give everybody hope out there," Marika said. "If we focus on the good, we’re going to find the good. If we focus on the bad, we’re going to find the bad. To all the kids out there that are feeling alone or don’t have somewhere to turn, there’s always someone. There’s always good out there."

Receiving their awards
Receiving their awards

A GoFundMe has been set up for the boys' college funds.

"There were a few comments about donating to the kids. A GoFundMe was set up for educational purposes," Marika said. "It’s going to be great to be able to give them a little step up after high school and that little bit of relaxing knowing that there’s some money set aside for their college."

The boys also would like to share their Christmas list if anyone would like to give them a gift. To get in contact with Marika to coordinate gift-giving, email her at stomeron@yahoo.com

“A Lego set, like a car, an RC tank,” Thomas said. “Maybe like some black sneakers and like a soccer ball, some cleats maybe."

Aaron is hoping for a new wooden baseball bat. The two would also like to ask for a non-slip doormat for their neighbor.

Thomas also has a reminder for the youth in Billings:

“For all you kids out there, just be respectful to old people and young people,” Thomas said.

To donate to the boy's GoFundMe, click here.