RISCO, MO (KFVS) - A Risco, Mo. boy is being honored along with members of the community for saving the life of a referee – with the help of a portable defibrillator.
New Madrid County Sheriff Terry Stevens gave CJ Blankenship a special honor.
"As Sheriff of New Madrid Missouri do hereby appoint you as honorary deputy sheriff of New Madrid County Missouri," Stevens said.
Blankenship will need to make space on his wall.
"The person I was sitting beside said I need a bigger one," Blankenship said.
The fifth grader at Risco Schools was honored April 7, in front of a packed gym.
Two months ago, he jumped into action when Referee Donnie Jenkins suffered a heart attack.
"I feel kind of surprised. I didn't know I was going to get all that stuff. I'm really thankful that everybody took the time and did that stuff for me," Blankenship said.
Not only was he honored – but the entire team that came to Jenkins' aid.
"When I came to I didn't know how many people were there, but today I see there was quite a few people. It made me feel good that a lot of people came to help," Donnie Jenkins said.
While Jenkins' isn't back to refereeing yet, he tells me he hopes to start again soon.
"Probably this summer. It's been a little rough road. You know, some of the stuff I used to do I can't do, so I'm getting around to doing it now," Jenkins said.
"I'm very happy to see him doing so well. I hope he continues to heal," Blankenship said.
Beyond being grateful for all the Risco community has done for him – Jenkins says, he's just happy to be alive.
"I thank everyone for coming out, and I'm glad to be standing here today. Thank you," Jenkins told the crowd.
New Madrid County Representative Don Rone also honored CJ at the event.
He invited everyone involved in saving Jenkins life to visit the floor of Missouri's House of Representatives.