A 13-year-old boy, Charlie Wilstead Finlayson, is being hailed a hero after he was able to keep his father alive for two days in the remote Idaho wilderness after a climbing accident. The boy used skills he had learned through years of backpacking and Boy Scout training to dress his father’s wounds, keep him hydrated, and even identified signs of hypothermia.
The 13-year-old Boy Scout ran back and forth to the pair’s camp, which was a mile away, to keep his father supplied with water and food. Finally, after the boy was able to get his father back to the campground, he was sent on a 13-mile trek to the nearest staffed campground for help, and his father was eventually airlifted out of the wilderness.
The Daily Mail reports that Charlie and his father were backpacking and rock climbing in No Return Wilderness in Cascade, Idaho, when a boulder dislodged and sent 54-year-old David Finlayson falling to the ground below. The 30-foot drop left David unconscious with a broken back, broken left arm and left heel, and a gash on his left leg that was so deep his bone was exposed. Fortunately for David, his 13-year-old son immediately jumped into action, ultimately saving his father through his heroic efforts.
Charlie was an avid backpacker and also a trained Boy Scout. He put his training to good use and was able to dress his father’s wounds and keep him calm. The eighth grader said that he knew he had to stay calm so that he didn’t make the situation worse.
The boy ran back and forth to the pair’s campground, which was located a mile away from the accident, for supplies. He brought back food, water, and sleeping bags to keep warm. The pair slowly made their way back to the campground over a two-day period. Finally, after David was stable and in the safety of the campsite, young Charlie was sent on a 13-mile trek to the nearest staffed campground alone to seek help.
According to ABC News, the father wrote a note on a piece of paper and sent it with Charlie for the rangers. The note outlined the details of the accident and the location of their campsite. Charlie noted that setting off on the 13-mile journey was the scariest part of the ordeal. He says he feared he wouldn’t find anybody and that his father would be left alone. However, just three miles into his 13-mile trek, Charlie came across two hikers who he knew from church. The two men went to stay with David at the camp and provide medical care as Charlie trekked forward to call for help.
Five miles into the journey, Charlie came upon another hiker who ran eight miles for help. Meanwhile, Charlie continued his hike and eventually made it out of the wilderness, where a sheriff met him and called a relative. Meanwhile, his father was flown out of the campground to receive medical treatment.
What do you think of the 13-year-old boy’s response to the potentially fatal accident? Would you be able to remain as calm as the young Boy Scout in the same situation?
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