A peaceful hike in the Colorado mountains turned into a rescue mission for Carolina Panthers running-back Christian McCaffrey, when a 72-year-old man fell some 20 foot onto a rock.
McCaffrey was out on a walk with brothers Dylan and Max, along with some friends, climbing Castle Rock. Then they saw something.
“It felt like he was in the air for 10 seconds,” McCaffrey told panthers.com. “I had never seen anything quite like that in my life as far as the trauma and the sound. We were in shock.”
McCaffrey called 9-1-1. Mann and a fellow onlooker named Chris tended to Smoker, who was suffering greatly from the devastating fall. Chris kept his head still and Mann performed chest compressions when Smoker’s breathing stopped.
“Everybody stepped up,” McCaffrey said. “I called 9-1-1, and it felt like an eternity. It felt like we were up there waiting for four hours. But I looked back at my call log and it took 11 minutes before the paramedics came. Amazing what those guys did.”
After Smoker Sr. was rushed to the hospital, doctors found he had a few injures, including a broken femur, a broken pelvis, internal bleeding, bleeding on the brain, nine fractured ribs and a broken neck. He’s lucky to be alive.
Michael Mann, @run__cmc and @notoriousmax25 are great football players, but even better humans. Yesterday, they helped save my dads life after he fell off of Castle Rock. They comforted my son when he was alone. Then showed up at the hospital to check in. @AdamSchefter @espn pic.twitter.com/MVAdbr2gYV
— Dan Smoker (@dsmokexu) March 4, 2018
Because of Michael Mann, @notoriousmax25, @run__cmc and a few other amazing folks, my 13yo son isn't telling a story about how he went on a hike with his grandpa and his grandpa died. He's telling a story of strength, hope, and human goodness. @AdamSchefter @espn
— Dan Smoker (@dsmokexu) March 6, 2018
McCaffrey continues to text back-and-forth with Smoker’s son following an incident that all involved will never forget.
“We all took it upon ourselves to check up on that kid,” McCaffrey explained. “It could be a lifelong bond between us. He experienced a lot in those five minutes.”
“It shows the really good side of humanity,” Smoker said. “Pretty amazing.”
Said McCaffrey: “It’s such a … I don’t know what you’d call it. Truly a blessing that we turned the corner at that exact moment and we could be there for him.
“I don’t know what would have happened… We were lucky to be at the right place at the right time.”
McCaffrey is a stud, and will continue to be a huge part of the Panthers offense. Electric on and off the field.