Sheriff’s deputy hailed a hero after helping to save 5-year-old near drowning victim

Published 11:10 am Tuesday, November 21, 2023

NATCHEZ — Adams County Sheriff’s Deputy Wes Stroud is being hailed a hero after administering CPR on a five-year-old boy on Friday.

Stroud was dispatched to assist with a child who was found by his grandmother in the family’s swimming pool in The Meadows subdivision.

“When I pulled up in the driveway, there was a teenager pointing toward the pool,” Stroud said Monday afternoon. “I exited my patrol vehicle and ran to the back side of the pool. The boy was limp and there was a lady administering CPR. I didn’t know who she was at the time.”

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Stroud took over doing CPR on the boy at that point.

“He gasped for air and I rolled him over and started rubbing his sternum,” he said. “At that point, he started regurgitating fluids out of his lungs.”

The boy was unconscious when Stroud arrived, and though he was breathing, Stroud said he did not regain consciousness at the scene.

“I was told the lady was his grandmother and she was inside cooking and when she turned around, she couldn’t find him. She checked out at the pool and that’s where she found him,” he said. “I was told he was away from the grandmother for only four or five minutes.”

Stroud said he spoke to a member of the child’s family, who told him the boy is recovering.

“From what I hear, I talked to a gentleman yesterday, who said he was doing good. He is still in ICU in Batson (Batson Children’s Hospital in Jackson) where they are monitoring his lungs,” he said.

Chief Deputy Billy Neely told the Adams County supervisors this morning about how proud he is of Stroud and the training that kicked in for him while on the call.

The supervisors plan to honor Stroud at an upcoming meeting.

After the crisis was over, Stroud allowed himself to feel something about what had occurred.

“Even after the immediate crisis was over, I still had to remain calm because I had to calm down the people who were there. I still had to do a report on all this and I needed people calmed down in order to tell me what happened,” he said. “I was pretty shaken up then. You realize the sense of urgency to get there, then the sense of urgency to administer CPR. It makes me feel good to know I did my job,” he said.

Stroud, 42, was a diesel mechanic before deciding to go into law enforcement.

“I love it. I wish I had done it 20 years sooner,”

He joined the Adams County Sheriff’s Office in March 2022.

“I love being a sheriff’s deputy. I wish I had done it 20 years sooner,” Stroud said. “I love Sheriff (Travis) Patten. He’s the best boss I’ve ever had.”

He said he was motivated to go into law enforcement after a teenager who went to school with his children, was murdered downtown.

“I felt a need to help this community, to help people in my community. I felt like I could do that, real people and contribute to making the community a better place.”

Patten said Stroud, though on the job for less than two years, is one of his more ambitious deputies.

“He has a tremendous desire to learn and to become more well trained so he can have a real impact on this community. We are very proud of him. We are proud to see that his training kick in.

“We are proud to have him and hope that we can keep him in Adams County. Prior to joining the sheriff’s office, he was a diesel mechanic and he could be making a lot more money than he is as a sheriff’s deputy, but he sincerely wants to serve his community,” Patten said. “Some may look at Wes as if he was just doing his job. I look at what he did as heroic. He did what real life heroes do, and that’s save a life.”