Arlington teen recovering after being impaled by tractor spike in sledding accident

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — An Arlington couple says it’s nothing short of a miracle their teenage son is walking just days after being impaled by a hay baler spear during a freak sledding accident.

Todd and Christie Reid have been by Sam’s side ever since, chronicling his recovery for family and friends on Facebook.

“Today was his longest walk. He made it from his room down to the nurse’s station,” said Todd Reid.

Reid said last Saturday Sam was sledding behind a four-wheeler in a cow pasture in Arlington when the tow rope broke and he went flying into the path of a hay tractor.

“It had those two big spikes that stab the hay. He slid into one of the spikes, and it went in his lower left abdomen, up through his chest, and then came outside the back right side of his neck,” said Reid.

His dad said it happened at the home of a retired sheriff’s deputy who knew he had to keep Sam completely still and got help there right away.

Firefighters were able to cut Sam free from the tractor and rushed him to the Regional Medical Center, where trauma doctors were able to remove the four-foot steel spike during several hours of surgery.

“His doctor said ‘I would like to tell you I’ve done this a hundred times, but literally this is the one and only case like this I’ve ever seen. We were just doing surgery on the fly as we removed this large spike from his body’,” said Reid.

Sam lost half of his left lung, and broke six ribs and some small bones in his neck. The Arlington High School student also has numbness and weakness in his left arm.

His family, though, is celebrating every victory and knows just how lucky he is. Doctors told them that spike just missed hitting his heart and spinal cord.

“His pain doctor saw pictures of his surgery and he looked at Sam this morning and said, ‘Listen, God has a plan for you. You’ve been saved for a reason.’ He said, ‘I’m telling you that. I cannot believe that is what when through his body’,” Reid said.

Reid said doctors are optimistic his son could be released from the hospital early next week.

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