HALL COUNTY, Ga. — A 16-year-old boy who was nearly killed in a freak accident involving a "pumpkin chucker" has been released from the hospital.
Channel 2's Tyisha Fernandes spoke with Jacob Stevens, who was injured at his church's fall festival on Halloween.
Stevens was attending a youth group event called "Trunks of Treats" at the Corner Stone Assembly of God Church in Gainesville when a pumpkin slingshot Jacob was attempting to launch malfunctioned. The pumpkin flew backward and slammed into Stevens' chest.
The blow collapsed both of his lungs, broke his sternum and bruised his heart. Stevens stopped breathing, but luckily, a church member immediately began CPR and paramedics were able to take over.
Stevens remained in the hospital for 12 days. Doctors initially told his parents he was in bad shape and may not survive.
But Stevens' mom said that's when all of his loved ones started praying. Even strangers at the hospital joined in.
Stevens told Fernandes he thinks those prayers saved his life.
"It was very, I think spiritual," Stevens said. "And I think all the people that were praying – I mean I still don’t understand how many people were praying. I can’t thank them enough."
After nearly losing his life, Stevens is finally back at home to continue his recovery. He told Fernandes he doesn't remember the accident. His first memory after it happened was waking up in a dark hospital room hooked up to machines and unable to talk.
"Waking up in the hospital was kind of disorienting," Stevens said. "I don't recall anything. Nothing from that day or the day before really."
Stevens said he didn't even realize how close he was to death at first until doctors told him both of his lungs had collapsed.
"I think that's when I first actually realized the severity of it," Stevens said.
Fernandes spoke to Stevens' doctors, who said the timing of the accident is why it did so much damage. They said the pumpkin hit his chest exactly as his heart was beating.
"It's kinda crazy to hear how rare it would be to have something hit you at the exact same time your heart is taking a beat," Stevens said. "Just everything was in place for me to live and recover as well, so praise God."
Stevens said he doesn't take anything for granted anymore and has big plans for the future. He enjoys writing and wants to tell his story.
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