ALAMEDA, Calif. (KTVU) - A routine walk to school for a nine-year-old boy and his stepmother almost ended tragically on Tuesday.
Lolla Miller was walking with her stepson, Josiah "JoJo" Miller, when the boy noticed something out of the ordinary.
"I remember she made a spit bubble right here," Josiah said. "Then she started drooling and then she dropped her phone once and her hand was like this."
"I couldn't really say anything. I couldn't really do anything," Miller said.
Experts say she was showing symptoms of a stroke.
Knowing his stepmother was acting differently, Josiah ran into the school and called for help.
Miller was taken to the hospital where she had surgery to remove a blood clot from her brain.
"We're so grateful that Jojo was paying attention and he didn't just run into the school and leave her out here by herself," the woman's mother, Barbara Manibusan, said. "He really noticed something was wrong."
Miller's father Frank Manibusan praised the boy's quick thinking.
"I feel truly blessed that this guy loves my daughter," he said. "My daughter is his stepmom but he loves her as if it was his real mother."
It's their bond that family members say made Josiah acutely aware that something was wrong.
The third grader was cool calm brave and courageous, but a little on edge.
"...It was because she was drooling and she acted like she didn't care she was drooling," he said.
"I'm so proud of him. So grateful he was able to see the signs," Miller said.
She remains in the hospital where the two finally reunited and nothing has changed.
They sat, talked, laughed and loved each other. Some may call Josiah a Good Samaritan but his family has a better title.
"He's always been a hero and now he's a superhero. He's our hero for sure," says Barbara Manibusan.
Miller is expected to be released Friday afternoon.