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4-H training prepared teenager to ‘Stop the Bleed’
Pat Kemery of rural Blockton lived to ring in another new year thanks to her neighbors, who she considers family. After Pat’s husband Wayne passed away in November of 2022, Nate and Crystal Drake offered to help her take care of the farm. Their teenage son Weston also began helping Pat with some of the cattle chores, mowing, raking and picking up hay.
“They are family,” says Kemery, “his dad and my husband were first cousins, and my mother-in-law was a Drake.” Although she sees them all the time, she was especially thankful Weston was close by earlier this June.
“I was riding a new four-wheeler. It had a 15-gallon tank on the back, that was full, to spray weeds” Kemery recalled, “I turned a little too soon, went down a bank, and my hand caught the throttle. It sped up and threw me right off!” The four-wheeler rolled onto Kemery, and she was pinned on her stomach with her hands straight out in front of her.
“If it would have rolled one more time, it would have got my head,” said Kemery, “The good Lord had to be with me.”
Roughly 30 minutes later, Weston came around the corner on the tractor pulling a trailer full of hay. He got off the tractor to see if he could roll the four-wheeler off of Kemery.
“I was pretty lucky he was hauling hay off my property when that happened,” recalled Kemery, “He was very calm, very brave.”
“I remember just coming around the corner and I saw the four-wheeler rolled over,” Drake told a reporter from USA Today, “I didn’t quite see Pat yet until I got up there. I finally saw her … She was pinned under the four-wheeler.”
He checked on her to see if he could lift the four-wheeler without hurting her. Kemery told him to use the forks or pallets on his tractor to lift it instead.
“I just took them, bumped the four-wheeler with them and raised it up enough off her so that she could crawl out from under it,” said Drake.
Weston noticed Kemery’s foot was bleeding, and remembered to stay calm and assess the situation thanks to a class he had taken through 4-H called Stop the Bleed.
Weston called his dad, and Kemery asked them to call her son Mike, who took her to Ringgold County Hospital for further evaluation and x-rays.
“I was pretty lucky I didn’t break anything, except three toes,” said Pat, “I had my knees replaced 10-12 years ago, and they put in titanium rods.” She credits the rods for supporting her legs so they didn’t break.
Her oldest grandson, Christopher, now has the four-wheeler, and Pat has since recovered from the accident that injured her elbow and a few toes. She had a nice long visit with Weston’s dad, Nate, on New Year’s Day and is thankful to have them close by.
“They are really good neighbors,” stated Pat, “There’s advantages to living in a small town.”