A loving grandfather’s final act in life was protecting his grandson from a tragic death.
On Sept. 2, Jerry Greenough of Edmond, Okla., was driving with his 13-year-old grandson Austyn Kerley on a road near Black Mountain, N.M., when his tire clipped a rock. The two tumbled about 150 feet down the mountainside in in the Jeep.
“We got stuck on a rock, and so, my papa tried to floor my jeep to get it over the rock, and the rock slid out and we just rolled down the hill,” Austyn said to TV station KFOR. “I remember his arms around me because I held on to his right sleeve all the way down until he let go of me and I lost grip and flew out.”
Both Greenough, 63, and Austyn were ejected from the vehicle. While Austyn was airlifted to an Albuquerque hospital, emergency personnel were unable to save Greenough.
Austyn was critically injured as he suffered neck fractures, a collapsed lung, broken collarbones, facial lacerations and internal bleeding, said his mother, Amanda Kerley, and Greenough’s daughter.
For five days, he was in ICU while doctors painted a grim prognosis, figuring he would be stuck in the hospital through October after losing 40 percent of his blood supply.
But amazingly, Austyn was up and walking again three weeks later. He was released from the hospital on Thursday.