Thursday, December 9, 2010

Scott Echols Tragic Accident

In a fleeting moment a couple of weeks ago in Blakely, Georgia, Scott Echols of Bleckley County was involved in a traffic accident that could have snuffed out his life. As it is, he will be hospitalized for “months, not weeks” in an attempt to recover.
How tenuous life’s journey can be! On Sunday evening November 7th, Echols, a 51-year-old Broker in the Alaskan Fishing Industry, started out for Enterprise, Alabama to check on his uncle who was in the hospital in serious condition. His journey took him through a route to Blakely where he was t-boned in his small automobile by a much larger SUV leaving him in critical condition—fighting for his life—in the blink of an eye.
Scott, the husband of Cherie Thompson Echols and the father of a daughter, Morgan who is a sophomore at Middle Georgia College, and a son, Jacob who placed seventh in the state in pole vaulting on the track team and also plays on the Bleckley Royals football team as a place-kicker, finds himself in the biggest battle of his life.
After Echols graduated from college, he traveled to Alaska to become a commercial fisherman in the rough seas of the 49th state. He fell in love twice—once with the fishing industry—and secondly with Cherie Thompson of Cochran. As Scott moved around the world fishing on boats, his new wife followed him and they eventually had two additions to their family.
After years away from home in Cochran, the couple agreed to move back and settle down where they grew up, giving their two children the hometown stability they felt they needed, and as a result of the Internet, Scott could continue his brokerage of the Alaskan Fishing Industry.
Echols father-in-law, Ron Thompson said one of the EMT professionals told him that “Mister Echols was as strong as an ox,” as they worked with him to get him onto the stretcher and immobilize his arm for the purpose of giving him IV fluids. “He was striving hard to free himself from their grip as he clung to the desire to survive,” one of the medical specialists said.
As they began the journey from Blakely to Dothan, Alabama which was the nearest Trauma hospital, someone called his wife in Cochran to inform her that Scott had been in an accident and they were now en route to Dothan.
Immediately, Cherie Echols made plans to drive to lower Alabama, uncertain of the directions or the seriousness of her husband’s injuries. Stopped in her tracks by her father, Mrs. Echols was told that he would drive her to Dothan, an area with which he was familiar. When they were an hour from their destination, Echols received a cell call informing her that they were going to move her husband to Birmingham where there was a larger and better equipped Trauma unit. Nevertheless they continued onward and arrived before the move was made.
Upon the action to move Scott to Birmingham, the family members continued their trek northward through Alabama.
In serious accidents of life or death, there are many quick decisions to make—giving doctors and medical teams permission to operate and further examine the injured party, locating a place where the family can stay, and determining visiting hours, etc.—and Cherie Echols had plenty to make. Through the worst of times cool heads and blessings sometime take over. A member of a Birmingham church arrived after a couple of days and offered Echols the use of a church-owned apartment for up to three months. Doctors continued working on her husband to save his life. Scott has suffered both lungs collapsing, ribs broken, legs broken, a ruptured spleen and many more serious injuries that will take a long time from which to recover.
Of course, one of the most serious problems the family is facing is tremendous medical and doctor bills and a very long time with no family income while Scott is no longer able to work. Cherie is in nursing school and has no income. A fund has been opened at the State Bank in Cochran, 112 Beech Street, Cochran, GA 31014 and it is entitled the Scott Echols Fund for those who can and will donate funds to help a worthy family in time of great need. Donations can be made in your name so the family can acknowledge their thanks to you, or donations may be made anonymously.
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