An emergency situation can take anyone by surprise. Disasters can happen in a split second, and sometimes panic sets in. But knowing what to do at moment’s notice could mean the difference between life or death.
That was the case for one family from Red Bud, Illinois, whose terrifying ordeal could have taken a grave turn—if not for the heroics of a 13-year-old boy.
Brandi Bass was driving home from Texas a few weeks ago, returning from a visit to her eldest daughter. She had two of her children with her, 10-year-old Kira and 13-year-old Caleb.
She doesn’t know exactly what happened—but suddenly, the family was in a horrific accident.
“We ended up hitting the side, going off the road hitting a tree and going into a flip and when we landed she came out of the back window,” Brandi told FOX2.
The mother was in shock, and she didn’t realize one of her children was no longer in the vehicle until she heard a scream.
Kira hadn’t been wearing a seat belt, and was ejected from the car—and was now in horrific pain.
“She was screaming, ‘My knee’s broken! My knee’s broken!’” Brandi told Inside Edition. “But it wasn’t broken, her leg was cut.”
It was a bad, deep cut—and she was bleeding out rapidly. The sight was so horrific her mom didn’t know what to do.
“I could not hand handle the sight of her leg,” Brandi said.
Luckily, Caleb was ready. He was interested in joining the Army and had a strong interest in survivalist techniques. He knew exactly what to do.
He jumped out of the car, took off his shirt, and made a makeshift tourniquet to wrap around his sister’s leg.
“What was going through my mind was that I have to save her,” Caleb recalled to FOX2.
After helping his sister, he went back to the car to get his mother out, and the family waited for emergency services to arrive.
When they were taken to a nearby hospital, they were told that Kira’s injury was so bad they weren’t equipped to handle it—and she was airlifted to Arkansas Children’s Hospital in Little Rock.
The doctors also said that if it wasn’t for Caleb’s tourniquet, she would’ve died from blood loss.
Brandi was stunned by the miraculous turn of events.
“Without my son and without God I don’t know if we’d be standing here,” she told FOX2.
Caleb has remained modest about his life-saving skills.
“He keeps telling everybody, ‘I am not a hero,’” Brandi told Inside Edition. “And I keep telling him, ‘Yes you are, baby doll. You saved your sister’s life. People are just telling you that you did that.’’’
Kira has a long road ahead, and has been in and out of hospitals and doctors appointments for the past few weeks.
She will need physical therapy and skin monitoring, but she will make a full recovery—she’s already been well enough to attend one of Caleb’s football games.
“I tell her, ‘It sucks that it happened. But we have to fight. It hurts. But you’re alive,’” Brandi told Inside Edition.