A Little Voice Of Reason

Lacy Goss and Darlene Goss
According to CBS News Correspondent Steve Hartman, you can't live on this planet more than 20 years and not have a story to tell. There's a problem, however, when the subject is only 8 years old.

But youth has its charm and the story that Lacey Goss tells shows she is wise beyond her years.

The tiny voice didn't have "a greatest story" other than something about a new girl in her class and her mom's recent heat stroke.

Lacey Goss is your basic, garden-variety single girl. "I can't believe Andrew dumped me," she confides in a friend on the school bus. "Watch, now he's going to ask to go back out with me because I'm on TV."

But her mother Darlene says she's growing up way too fast. "Two years ago she got caught smoking cigarettes," says Darlene Goss. "And the girls at work told me to buy some little cigars and have her smoke one and it'll make her sick and she'll never smoke again. And she sat there and smoked two of them!"

Track Hartman's travels via the Everybody Has A Story archive.
The good news is Lacey eventually lost interest in smoking and took up lecturing her mother instead. "She begs me. She has begged me not to smoke," says Darlene Goss.

Which leads to Lacey's story. Looking back on her initial statement, it should have seemed obvious. There's not a lot of heat stroke in December.

When Lacey said "heat stroke," she meant "stroke." It happened just one week before this report. "I could have very easily died," says Darlene Goss.

"She had to go to the hospital," remembers Lacey. "I was feeling sad."

Darlene Goss is just 45. She also happens to be a nurse who treats people for smoking-related illnesses. If anyone knew the risks, it was she.

And yet for 30 years nothing could ever make her stop smoking until this. "I am going to quit," she says with resolve. "This time I have to."

Goss says when she was in the hospital she started thinking about the wedding she almost missed and the grandkids she wouldn't have known. And although patches and pills never helped her much, somehow just thinking those thoughts has done wonders.

"It's working," says a smoke-free Goss.

And so Lacey, dumped by her boyfriend, now has a long-term commitment from her one, true love.