Boy dies twice after ATV accident

A typical summer day on the farm turned into anything but, when a 13-year-old Ridge Spring boy flipped his 4-wheeler. He wasn't wearing a helmet, and the accident almost killed him. Today he is proof that miracles do happen.

Chalmers Carr IV is a country boy who loves music and working for Titan Peach Farms. It's a way of life for the 13-year-old and his family, but this past July it almost took his life.

"I don't remember anything of that day," Chalmers told News 12. "I just know that's what happened."

Chalmers was working on the 3700 acre peach farm that day when his father decided it was time to go home.

"We were dismissing him to go home and rest for football practice that evening, so he knocked off sometime about 2 that afternoon," said Chalmers' father, Chalmers Carr III.

That's when Chalmers IV hopped on his ATV.

"My 4-wheeler...I don't know what happened to cause it to flip, but it flipped over, and when it did, something caught my ear and ripped that off," Chalmers IV said.

That's not all. Chalmers IV wasn't wearing a helmet, so he cracked his skull in multiple places. He also broke his collarbone.

"When I found him, he was across a ditch, lying motionless," Chalmers III said. "He was conscious, eyes open, couldn't speak, but he could move his legs a little bit."

He knew this was serious, so he called for help. He also knew that being on a farm so far out of town, help wasn't coming for a while.

"He actually lost consciousness with me in my arms, and when we were in the back of the vehicle waiting for the ambulance to arrive," Chalmers III said. "But to see that, him go limp--I knew he had a pulse--but to see that, I wouldn't wish that on anybody."

All he could do was wait and pray. Then he saw an angel in the sky.

"From the very first moment, we knew there were miracles happening along the way. We were assured that we were going to Columbia...that's where the helicopter was being dispatched from. And fortunate for us, that's not the case. The helicopter came from MCG," he said.

As choppers raced toward MCG's Children's Hospital, so did Chalmers' family, including his sister, Carly Anne, and his mother, Lori Anne.

"They came around the corner with him, and then they put a crash cart right beside me, and that was a pretty big deal to know they had a crash cart there for him," said Lori Anne.

By this point, Chalmers had already died twice. His heart had stopped, and he had lost his pulse two times.

"Once I saw him, I was kind of scared, because I didn't know what was going to happen," said Carly Anne.

That's when doctors decided to put Chalmers in a medically-induced coma. He stayed in that coma for 17 days. Throughout this time his family never left his side, and neither did doctors and nurses.

"And I asked them to treat him like he was their child and just to promise me that they would do that, and there was never a doubt in my mind through the whole time, that's what they did," Lori Anne said.

During that time in the coma, Chalmers' mom played music for him. Kenny Chesney is one of his favorites.

"We were day to day, sometimes hour to hour, whether he was going to survive or not," said Chalmers III.

As those days and hours passed, Chalmers' body got stronger, and so did his will. He came out of his coma fighting.

"Well, I did pull out my feeding tube a lot," he told News 12.
News 12: "You did? I bet the nurses weren't happy with you."
Chalmers (laughing): "Nope."
News 12: "You were determined to get better and eat food on your own."
Chalmers: "Yes."

Chalmers knew he would get better, because from the moment his accident happened, he had help.

"I say that God was there," he said. "He helped me in my accident, because the only reason that I did not die was that he caught me."

During Chalmers' recovery, he had other helping hands as well. More than a hundred friends and family took up camp in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit waiting room for two straight weeks.

"(The PICU is) a family-centered environment," Chalmers said. "It's very comfortable to be in."

That makes all the difference in the world, or at least in Chalmers' world.

Nowadays Chalmers' world is pretty much back to normal. Even after having to learn how to walk, talk, and eat all over again, he's back on his ATV--this time with a helmet. He still works on the peach farm, and even his sister notices that nothing has changed.

"The way he is now, he's practically the same way he was before," Carly Anne said. "I mean, he's just as annoying. I mean, he's the same old brother."

The same old brother, who now has an incredible story to tell.


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