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Grandpa had stroke on the highway. ‘I was steering the wheel with one hand,’ boy says

Benjamin Bubis’s grandfather Boris Hutorin was driving down Interstate 495 in Canton, Massachusetts, when the 71-year-old man had a stroke on the highway. His 12-year-old grandson drove the car to safety.
Benjamin Bubis’s grandfather Boris Hutorin was driving down Interstate 495 in Canton, Massachusetts, when the 71-year-old man had a stroke on the highway. His 12-year-old grandson drove the car to safety. Screengrab from WHDH

Benjamin Bubis is only 12 years old — but the seventh-grader found himself driving down a Massachusetts highway on Tuesday afternoon.

That’s because his 71-year-old grandfather, Boris Hutorin, suffered a stroke as he was driving the boy to a soccer practice on Interstate 495 in Canton, Massachusetts, according to The Telegram & Gazette.

“I was a little scared,” Benjamin told the newspaper, “but I knew I had to control myself and figure out what I have to do.”

The boy said his grandfather stopped responding mid-conversation, and he began to worry, according to The Boston Globe.

“I started to yell at him, yell again and again,” Benjamin said, according to The Boston Globe. “And he still didn’t respond.

“I saw that the car was starting to slow down a little,” he continued to the newspaper, “and he kinda got out of control a little bit on the road.”

Project DASH for Doctors Against Stroke and Heart Attack performed a music video at The Medical Center, Navicent Health explaining the symptoms of a heart attack and stroke. The video became popular on Facebook.

Benjamin said he realized the gravity of what was happening, and took control of the wheel.

“It was a life and death situation,” he told CBS Boston. “I knew that I had to stay focused.”

Yelena Bubis said she got a call from her 12-year-old son, who said that her father was having some sort of “medical emergency” on the highway, according to WHDH.

At the advice of his mother, Benjamin called 911 while still driving the car down the highway.

“I told them what’s happening, that there was like a medical emergency,” he recalled, according to CBS Boston. “And at the same time I was kind of steering the wheel with one hand because I was avoiding crashes.”

Benjamin told The Telegram & Gazette that he was driving the car for seven minutes until he finally managed to get to the side of the highway.

Police Chief Don Roper of the Mt. Holly police department never had a sick day in 31 years until he had a stroke.

“I pulled up onto, like, an alley on the right side of the highway,” he told the newspaper. “And I tried to stop the car. So I clicked all the buttons.”

Hutorin was treated for his stroke at UMass Memorial Medical Center, The Boston Globe reported. Dr. Ajit S. Puri, who treated the man, told the newspaper that “this is an amazing story on so many levels.”

“Mr. Hutorin has a lot to be thankful for including the heroics of his grandson and the skill and expertise of the first responders who understood his medical predicament,” Dr. Puri told The Boston Globe. “With a stroke, every second counts. Thankfully we got to him in time.”

Now, Yelena Bubis said she has her son to thank for keeping her father alive.

“I could never imagine this happening to him,” she told WHDH. “I just know that he’s a very smart kid.”

For nearly three years, Andres Santana of Ceres has been fighting back from a stroke that's left him cognitively undamaged by trapped in a body not working as it should. Two nurses are leading an effort to get his family a wheelchair-accessible van.

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