LifeNet honors students for heroic actions

Connor+Anderson%2C+Rachel+Sorenson%2C+and+Jera+Davis+accept+award+from+LifeNet+workers.

Photo by Morgan Bonner

Connor Anderson, Rachel Sorenson, and Jera Davis accept award from LifeNet workers.

Story by Grace Hickey, viewpoint editor

Three students were awarded the LifeNet Life Saver Award in honor of their efforts to help senior Mayten Lumpkin at the scene of his recent diving accident. Seniors Connor Anderson and Rachel Sorenson along with junior Jera Davis were presented with the honor on Oct 13.

“The award goes to folks who use their first-aid skills to make a difference. Either they are saving a life or have the potential to save a life,” LifeNet representative David Baumgardner said. “Their actions that afternoon with him obviously did that.”

Lumpkin sustained his injury after diving into the pool at Anderson’s home while the four students were together. After floating to the surface, Lumpkin’s friends sought to steady him in order to minimize the damage.

“After he dove [into the pool], he came up and told us that he couldn’t move, so I told Rachel and Jera to help me grab him,” Anderson said. “We all three pulled him over into the shallow end where we could stand up and all held different parts of his body to keep him straight and steady. Jera went and got my mom to call the ambulance, and then she grabbed a raft for him to lay on.”

The recipients of the award were not fully aware of the impact their actions had, only thinking that they were helping to keep Lumpkin calm and stable.

“I basically was just holding his neck, trying to make sure his head wouldn’t move,” Sorenson said. “It was really scary because the sun was in his eyes, he was laying flat on his back, and he was really freaking out because he couldn’t feel anything. He couldn’t raise his head above the water. I was mainly just trying to keep him calm and comfortable.”

Lumpkin’s friends never expected to be recognized for their efforts.

“It almost feels like I shouldn’t get [the award],” Davis said. “I just never thought that anything like this would ever happen to me. It’s just really weird.”

However, their actions cannot be understated.

“They literally saved his life. If they would’ve acted differently, he probably would not have survived,” LifeNet paramedic Bruce Townsend said. “We sugarcoat it a bit saying, ‘Oh, it would’ve been a worse outcome.’ Well, it would have been a worse outcome because of where his injury was. The decisions that they made made all of the difference in his life.”

Lumpkin’s family is fervently grateful to his friends, overwhelmed by the support that they have received.

“[Mayten] is so emotional [at seeing his fellow students’ support],” Mayten’s mother Missy Lumpkin said. “We have never been more proud to be tigers, and I have been a tiger for a long time, as has Mayten’s father.”

As for Lumpkin’s recovery in physical therapy, the process is slow but moving forward. His arms have regained mobility and legs are experiencing bouts of movement.

“I think [his recovery] is coming along really well,” Sorenson said. “Some things are moving slower than others, but I know without a doubt that he’s going to be walking again. If anyone can pull through this, Mayten can.”