In a heartwrenching turn of events, a little boy lost his parents and older brother in a horrific accident. A few days later, he insisted on seeing his favorite toy. Soon afterward, the firefighters who had rescued him sprang into action, hoping to bring some solace to the sweet angel.
Parental love knows no bounds because it’s unconditional, selfless, and never-ending. Children who grow up in loving homes, surrounded by caring parents and affectionate siblings, can go on to become kind, compassionate, and responsible individuals. A parent’s warm embrace is like a safe haven for a child.
But imagine the gut-wrenching pain and trauma of losing your family unexpectedly, and that too, at a very tender age. Indeed, grief is inevitable in such nerve-wracking circumstances, and there’s certainly no rule book that could teach people how to cope after a tragedy. The child in today’s story experienced something similar.
Alexander Stone. | Source: YouTube.com/12 News
THE RIDE BACK HOME
On Tuesday, July 26, 2022, the Stone family was headed back after a fun evening. They were returning from a family reunion in Colorado and were driving back home to Laguna Niguel, California. There was no sign of trouble as their car passed through Arizona.
But five days after the accident, he insisted on seeing something else that was extremely close to his heart.
Seated in the car were Brian and Alison Stone and their two children, Oliver, eight, and his brother, Alexander (Alex), six. Suddenly, the family-of-four’s Sedan slid across the highway in a rainstorm near Ash Fork, Arizona, and hit another vehicle.
AN UNSPEAKABLE TRAGEDY
After colliding head-on with a tractor-trailer, the Stone family’s car met with a horrific crash west of Flagstaff. Unfortunately, the accident proved so deadly that it claimed the lives of parents, Brian and Alison, alongside their son, Oliver. Laurie Granger, an EMT volunteer with Kaibab West Volunteers Fire Department, recalled:
“It was a devastating scene.”
Luckily though, one person survived the harrowing car crash — six-year-old Alex. Granger admitted she was astounded to learn about the little boy’s survival, and many of her team members considered it nothing but a true miracle. But the question was: who found the youngster from the wreckage?
Jessica Puisis, a KEW volunteer firefighter. | Source: YouTube.com/12 News
THE ONLY SURVIVOR
Tracy Zinn, a KEW volunteer firefighter, said he was passing through the area on the day of the accident. He shared that he saw a badly crushed vehicle and then noticed a kid in the front seat window.
His first instinct was to run toward the boy and help him however he could. Zinn said he told little Alex to stay strong and assured him that he would be rescued soon.
Clearly, the fireman wanted to comfort the child, who must have been scared and shaken after the nightmare he had lived. The youngster was taken to the hospital with major injuries to his arms, legs, hip, and ankle.
Patrick Mason, Alex’s uncle, and Cindy Mason, his grandma. | Source: YouTube.com/12 News
AN UNEXPECTED CALL
While Alex recovered from his physical and emotional wounds, he found comfort in his brother Oliver’s teddy bear. But five days after the accident, he insisted on seeing something else that was extremely close to his heart. His grandmother, Cindy Mason, recounted:
“When we told him about the accident, and his mommy and daddy and Oliver were in heaven, he grieved with Teddy, but he still constantly asked for Cookie.”
Cookie Monster was Alex’s favorite stuffed animal that had been with him since birth. He had most likely lost his beloved toy in the wreckage and wanted to be reunited with him. The KEW crew was surprised when they received a call from the hospital, this time for another rescue.
Jessica Puisis, a volunteer firefighter, was determined to bring a smile to Alex’s face and immediately started her mission of finding Cookie. She and a few other firefighters, including Zinn and his daughter, returned to the accident site that was still covered in debris.
After an extensive search, the team successfully found the blue-colored stuffed toy. However, Cookie needed a quick tidying up before meeting little Alex, and Puisis knew how to make him look nice and clean again.
She scrubbed him in the sink and handed him over to Zinn, who held him out the truck’s window to dry while driving to the hospital where Alex was admitted. After about one hour and fifteen minutes, Cookie was good to go to his adorable owner.
Alexander Stone lying in his hospital bed with his late brother’s teddy bear. | Source: YouTube.com/12 News
TOGETHER AT LAST
As was expected, Alex was over the moon after seeing Cookie. Puisis noted that he was delighted to see his favorite toy and wouldn’t let go of him, even for a picture.
The youngster held the toy close to his chest, which showed how much he cherished it. Cindy expressed:
“It was so important to Alex to have Cookie. He just loved him, and to see them return, I will never forget it.”
HOLDING ONTO MEMORIES
The KEW team members Zinn and Puisis clicked a picture with Alex and Cookie and shared it on Facebook alongside a touching caption, a part of which read:
“The child was so happy to see Cookie. He was given a KEW fire hat as well. This small gift will help in his long road of recovery.”
Alex’s uncle, Patrick Mason, thanked the hospital staff and appreciated the fire crew’s efforts in rescuing their boy and his Cookie Monster. Per Cindy, her grandson continues to hold on to his favorite toy and the memories of his parents and brother.
COME BACK WHEN YOU CAN
When Cindy asked Alex what he would tell the firefighters who gave him Cookie, he replied, “I thank them for giving me Cookie.” He also had a message for his family:
“I want them to come be here so I can see them again (sic).”
A GoFundMe account has been created for Alex and grandma Cindy, now his primary carer. As of August 30, over $94,000 have been raised of the $100,000 goal. Our heart goes out to this sweet boy, but we’re sure his family is watching over him from the heavens. May God be with you, little Alex.