The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

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July 5, 2013

‘Little helper’ hailed as hero after dad’s fall

REVLOC — Brandon Prazinko ran over to the tall, tattered beech tree behind his home and pointed.

“Right there,” he said. “That’s where Dad fell.”

It’s also where his father, Kevin Prazinko, says the 7-year-old boy came to his rescue, yelling for help and then quickly and decisively running to a neighbor’s home to get aid when no one answered his calls.

“He’s always been my little helper,” Kevin Prazinko said. “But he really helped me this time.”

The Revloc man was 15 feet up in the wind-damaged tree behind his Penn Avenue home last week when a limb broke.

“I was just trying to take care of the limbs,” he said. “One of them snapped and knocked me right off.”

Prazinko was able to push his chain saw away as he started to fall. He landed on a pile of wood that was scattered on the ground below.

The two broken ribs he received “knocked the wind right out of me,” he said.

“I couldn’t breathe for a second. And it hurt,” he added. “It hurt instantly.”

Brandon said he turned just in time to see his father hit the ground.

“I started yelling right away, but no one could hear me,” Brandon said. “I saw my neighbor and I ran.”

He found a neighbor working in his garage and 911 was called, his mother, Michelle Prazinko, said.

She said she was at a gas station when her husband fell.

“I can’t imagine how long he would have laid there if Brandon didn’t act the way he did,” Michelle Prizanko said, adding that first responders praised her son’s actions. “Some kids would have just froze.”

Brandon just shrugged his shoulders when his mom called him a hero.

Instead, he turned his attention to the work he and “Dad” have to finish outside this summer. He proudly pointed to a brick patio he’s helping with and a big pile of wood scraps in the yard.

First, Dad’s got to heal, his wife noted.

Kevin said he received a spinal compression fracture and shoulder injuries in addition to the broken ribs. He was released from Memorial Medical Center on Monday and is ordered to rest for the time being.

“We’re going to take care of that tree,” Kevin said smiling. “Probably not until the fall, though.”

 

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