Local Family Leads Plymouth ‘Thank A Hero’ Campaign After Lifesaving Rescue

5:22 PM | Tuesday, March 5, 2024

The Holmstrom family wants to thank Plymouth first responders in a big way with a “Thank a Hero Day.” The effort stems from their personal story four years ago — when first responders saved their child’s life.

Kristi and Josh Holmstrom are parents to three kids: Brody, Lincoln and Harper. On March 26, 2020, Brody and Lincoln were getting adventurous.

“Lincoln was only 3,” Kristi said. “He was outside playing in the back yard with his 6-year-old brother Brody.”

Their house at the time had a creek that ran through its back yard. Typically, Kristi said that creek is about six inches deep. That spring, heavy snow melt made the water several feet higher.

During playtime, Lincoln fell into the creek. Brody said he quickly called for his parents and his dad ran down and jumped into the water. Kristi sprung into action in a different way.

“I remember turning around, and I had Lincoln in my arms,” Josh recalled. “I was yelling at her to call 911, and she said ‘I already did!’ Literally, it was seconds later, I could hear the sirens coming.”

Josh and Kristi both weren’t sure how to do CPR. Before responders arrived, the 911 operator talked Kristi through it.

“I remember a tap on my shoulder, and that was the police officers’ ‘you’re done now. It’s our turn,’” Kristi said.

Kristi said the moment she got up was when she started panicking. The family thought they lost their son. But first responders revived him.

Lincoln was taken to Children’s Hospital for a few days. He said he doesn’t remember the accident, but he does remember some parts of the hospital.

“I remember they gave me a couple of popsicles,” he said.

After Lincoln and his family returned home from the hospital, Kristi said the first responders’ kindness kept coming.

“Something that really struck me, we were home for maybe an hour or two, and a police officer knocked on our door,” Kristi recalled. “He didn’t know what the outcome was for Lincoln. And then Lincoln came running down the stairs, and tears filled his eyes, like he didn’t know. He was checking on him.”

A year later, the family wanted to give back to those who saved Lincoln’s life. They contacted Plymouth Police Chief Erik Fadden to gather Lincoln’s heroes and brought treats to the station in Plymouth.

“We get to go show him off and go hug these people and we bring them treats. And we just say thank you and we want to make sure that they know we haven’t forgotten them and are grateful for what they are doing,” Kristi said.

“I would say ‘Thank you very much!’ and we would give them very good gifts,” Lincoln said.

The Holmstroms got together with Lincoln’s heroes on the one-year-anniversary of his rescue. One of the responders even joined over Zoom. (Photo courtesy of Kristi)

‘Lincoln’s Miracle Day’

To the Holtstrom’s family’s surprise, in March 2021, their heroes had more to give them. Chief Fadden declared March 26 “Lincoln’s Miracle Day!” and presented Brody with an award for calling for his parents when he did.

“They gave that to me, too,” Brody said, showing off his glass citizen award. “I thought that was really special that they awarded me with that.”

Since Lincoln’s first Miracle Day, the Holmstroms return to celebrate Lincoln and his heroes each year. 

“That’s their response. They’re just like: ‘I was just doing my job.’ And to me, you saved my child’s life,” Kristi said.

Today, Brody and Lincoln play catch in their yard and spend time with their sister, Harper.

“The gratitude we feel is a lot,” Josh said. “It’s good to be whole because of them.”

Lincoln and Brody hold a plaque and award presented to them by Plymouth first responders. (Photo courtesy of Kristi)

Thanking a Hero

Kristi said the death of the three Burnsville first responders made her family reflect on that job in a new way.

“They were just going to a call. And this is where it hit me; this year I didn’t want it to be our family celebrating Lincoln’s Miracle Day,” Kristi said. “I really wanted the community of Plymouth to come together. How can we all thank these people before there’s a tragedy that happens here?”

Kristi is extending Lincoln’s Miracle Day to all Plymouth Heroes: the 170-person fleet of police officers, paramedics, emergency medical technicians and firefighters. 

“It’s going to be exciting to know how they feel when we give them gifts back,” Brody said. “They don’t get gifts enough for what they do”

Donation specifics are still being finalized. If you would like to help, you can contact Kristi at thankaheroplymouth@gmail.com

Thank a Hero also has a Facebook page. The Holmstroms plan to thank heroes on Lincoln’s Miracle Day on March 26.