Share Your Hero

For eight years now, I’ve been building this book — Heroes For My Son, a collection of heroes for my boy. Along the way, beyond finding stories about Jim Henson and Rosa Parks and Thomas Jefferson, the very best part has been the stories that readers have sent to me. So let me officially ask: Who’s your hero? Mom? Dad? A teacher? Please send them to me at bradmeltzer44 AT or at (which you can then share with friends too).

First one up comes from Mrs. Billi Gardner:


Here is a hero from my life. His name was Holcomb Grant “Sonny” King, Jr. He was my father and a wonderful man. In 1974 after returning from a family vacation in Hawaii, my father had multiple heart attacks within a 24 hour period. He was not supposed to live. In fact, the emergency room physician told my mother, brother and me that “there is no medical explanation for him to be alive. Only a Greater Power could have done this.”

In 1975 Daddy had open heart surgery, a quadruple bypass (almost unheard of in those days). Although the surgery prolonged his life for about a decade, he was never able to work again. During that decade he was seen at the Veteran’s Hospital in Indianapolis many , many times. The VA Hospital sits next door to IUPUI Medical Center; also a learning facility. Daddy was one of the first in the nation to have a cathertization done. They told him it would be painful. And, yes, it was experimental. His reply, “Some day it may help save someone else’s life, right? How can I not.” That in itself is hero material. However, this past year our son had to have heart surgery and the procedures my father allowed medical doctors to perform over 30 years ago saved our son’s life.

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