Valdosta Daily Times

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August 29, 2013

Local teenager saves neighbor’s life with feat of strength

MINEOLA — How do you move an immovable object?

That’s the challenge that faced Hunter Cothron and his mom, Terri, this past Saturday.

After the power went out in their neighborhood, Terri sent 13-year-old son Hunter next door to check on an older neighbor.

“We check in on him every day,” said Terri.

There, Hunter found the scene of an accident. In his kitchen the previous night, their neighbor had started to fall. In an effort to catch himself, he grabbed on to his refrigerator, inadvertently dragging it down with him. The refrigerator fell on his legs, pinning him to the floor. With the upper half of his body trapped in a doorway, he lay there helpless throughout the night and into the next day.

When Hunter knocked on his front door, he heard him yelling for help inside. After running around to the back door, Hunter talked with his neighbor through the door, with him telling Hunter his house keys were in his truck.

After getting into the house and making a quick call to 911, Hunter, and his mom, who had walked over when Hunter didn’t come back, were faced with the task of moving the 200-pound refrigerator off of their neighbor.

Terri tried lifting it, to no avail. Hunter found a shovel, attempting to use it as a lever, but that too failed.

So Hunter just lifted it, moving it up and off.

“When the EMTs arrived, they said Hunter had just saved his life,” said Terri.

After being transferred to Smith Northview Hospital, tests found that his leg muscles and ligaments that were hit by the refrigerator had started breaking down due to damage, slowly working their way into his bloodstream. He also suffered a cracked leg. Had he not been found and rescued, the result could have been fatal.

The Cothrons' neighbor is hospitalized and doing well, but as he could not be reached for comment, the Times withheld his name to protect his privacy.

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