Keon Brown doesn’t consider himself a hero, but he will soon be recognized as one on national television.
Brown, a senior at East Chicago Central High School, saved the lives of a woman and her young son when their car crashed into his family home on April 6 on Indianapolis Boulevard, while babysitting his younger brother and sister. Brown will tell his story as a guest on The Ellen DeGeneres Show on May 27, which will air at 3 p.m. central time on NBC.
As the oldest of three siblings, Brown was put in charge of his 14-year-old brother and 1-year-old sister on April 6 as his mother was at a hospital in Indianapolis giving birth to his two newest siblings, a pair of twins that would be born the next day.
“It was the middle of the day when I heard a big ‘boom’ before I looked up and saw that a car had run into my house,” Brown remembers. “I jumped up and grabbed my brother and sister to take them out of the house and across the street when I noticed the woman driving the car was having a seizure. I pulled her out and laid her on her side to make sure she wouldn’t swallow her tongue before I pulled her son out of the mess.”
“It was real crazy and scary because I didn’t know what was happening, but luckily an ambulance came right away.”
Brown said he was “acting out of instinct” and just “doing what (he) thought was right,” and that he does not consider himself a hero.
“I was just doing what I thought was right, I don’t think the hype is all that warranted. I certainly didn't think I would become famous from this,” he said.
But when producers of Ellen’s show got word of his actions, they quickly contacted his school, who in turned set him up with a trip to Los Angeles to be a part of the show’s filming last week.
“Ellen was real happy and proud of me, just glad that it was a young man who knew what to do in the situation,” Brown said of his brief interview with the popular talk show host. “It was a great experience. I was super glad to be there and have an opportunity to be part of the Ellen family.”
Brown’s leadership in a high-pressure situation like the April 6 car crash come as hardly a surprise for those who know him. As a captain for the Cardinals’ football team last fall, Brown was a large part of the team’s ability to win both their regional and sectional championship games for the first time in school history.
While he was able to do some sightseeing in California the day before the show’s taping, it was back to school for the Indiana University-bound senior who is the class president of the ECC Class of 2014.
After a long flight that didn't see him home until the wee hours of the next morning, Brown was back at school that very day.
“I didn't really have jet lag, but it did feel good to get some good sleep that night,” he said.
When Brown’s mother heard about what happened, he naturally downplayed his role in what could have been a tragic event.
“I made sure she was calm and didn’t want her to worry,” Brown said. “I just told her to have those twins, and worry about the rest at home.”
The twins, who will have quite the story told to them regarding the events surrounding the time of their birth at home, were born the next day, April 7, and were brought home healthy by the end of the week.
As for the woman whose life he helped save, Brown said he talks to her on a regular basis.
“We have become pretty close since this all happened,” he said.
On May 27, East Chicago Central plans to have something after school so the entire student body can stay and watch their peer tell his story on the national stage.