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Hunting accident makes 12-year-old a hero

October 30, 2011

By Amye Wright,

From Herald-Citizen.com

COOKEVILLE -- Bob Johnson is a little sore these days but he's just grateful to be alive. On a mid-October Saturday afternoon Bob, 68, and a young family friend, Jeffry, 12, ventured out to a tree stand for Jeffry's first deer hunt.

Jeffry had just settled into his seat in the stand as Bob was attempting to sit in the seat next to him.

"All of a sudden the chair I was in fell out of the left side of the platform and sent me to the ground head first," Bob recalled. "After falling and rolling over to my side I became numb and couldn't move." He began praying that he would be okay. As if an answer to Bob's prayer, Jeffry sprung into action to help his friend.

By the time Jeffry had climbed down from the stand, Bob was in serious trouble. He was bleeding profusely from the cuts on his head and tongue made even more perilous by the fact that Bob takes blood thinners.

Bob sent Jeffry to get help and to get some towels out of the pickup they drove out to the site.

Jeffry ran more than 300 yards to retrieve the towels but instead of running back, the young man drove the pickup to the spot where Bob was lying. He applied pressure to Bob's wounds and managed to almost completely stop the bleeding.

When he saw that his friend was going to be okay, Jeffry rushed back to the truck and drove it to the roadway to wait on the paramedics to arrive so he could lead the way to Bob.

"I don't know how I did it," Jeffry said. "I wasn't worried or nothing, I just did what I could until the ambulance got there."

Jeffry has never had formal first aid instruction and only a few days ago was certified to do CPR. He attributes his quick thinking to some first aid tips his mom taught him.

"I just stayed calm and did what she'd told me to do," he said.

Once they arrived, the paramedics began treating Bob. He was airlifted to the trauma center at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

Bob is still a little sore but with good reason. In the accident he suffered broken ribs, a broken collar bone and two broken vertebrae.

"If Jeffry hadn't been with me that day and acted as he did I know that this would have been a different outcome," Bob said. "I thank God for the great outcome and I thank God for my 12-year-old guardian angel."

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