A Lifetime Impact
When Isaac Rosser was 5, he learned how and when to call for help using a 911 simulator, presented in his classroom by State Farm® agent Paul Nicholson (now retired). Isaac got refreshers on the technique in the classroom during the next two years. When Isaac was 9, his mom, Vicky, passed out while at home recovering from knee surgery.
“I couldn’t believe he dialed 911 and then reached a neighbor,” says Vicky. “He knew what to do because he recalled the training. He asked me two simple questions. When I couldn’t answer them, he knew I needed help. It could have been much more serious if he didn’t know what to do in that situation.”
As a retiree, Paul, who lives in Bayside, Calif., still reaches about 3,000 children a year with the 911 simulator. He has also helped schools purchase Fatal Vision goggles to teach students about impaired driving and a Seat Belt Convincer to stress the importance of wearing seatbelts.
Several years later, the family – which included Vicky, her husband, Lee, and their son, Isaac – moved from California to Wyoming.
At 16, Isaac was an adventurous teen who loved the outdoors. He and a friend were in a remote mountainous area of with family. The teens wanted to stay a little longer. When they didn’t return at dusk, Vicky and Lee became worried. They reported the boys missing and a search began.
Tom Newman, a member of the search and rescue crew, assured the families they would not stop looking until the boys were found. Tom and another member of the rescue squad found the boys, unharmed, on the third day.
Tom is also a State Farm agent in Lovell, Wy.
Nine months later, in July 2017, tragedy struck the family. Isaac, then 17, was killed in a crash. He was driving his car too fast on a dirt road and failed to navigate a sharp turn. He was not wearing a seatbelt.
“As parents you never want to think about losing your child,” Vicky says. “We were grieving and we were scared. We had to make plans to return to California for the funeral services, and the expenses from medical bills and the funeral arrangements were adding up.”
Paul, their former California agent, called as soon as he heard the news. He reminded Vicky they’d purchased life insurance on Isaac before they moved. That policy was now with the local agent, Tom. They wouldn’t realize until later it was the same person who helped find Isaac when he was lost in the mountains.
“Paul called Tom and the two worked together to get us a check for life insurance proceeds in a little over a week, which was about $34,000,” Vicky says. “I honestly don’t know what we would have done without it.”
Today, Vicky is looking for ways to get involved and reach students about seatbelt safety.
“Vicky and I have talked about how we can visit schools and educate teens about the importance of wearing a seatbelt,” Tom says.
Vicky also doesn’t miss a chance to tell friends and family about the value of life insurance.
Looking back, she reflects on how State Farm has been there for her family over the years.
“Paul’s involvement saved my life because Isaac knew how to call 911,” she adds. “Tom’s participation in search and rescue saved Isaac’s life and gave us nine more months with him. After the accident, life insurance helped ease our financial worries during an incredibly painful time. Even if relieving some worries only makes it a small percentage better – it is better than 100 percent awful.
“I tell my friends, ‘Call State Farm and someone will help you.’ I am grateful for the role State Farm has played in our lives.”