FERRON, Utah (ABC4) – One Utah man is sharing how his community is helping him after he survived getting bucked off a horse and breaking his back.
23-year-old Thomas Behling from Ferron says a gust of wind helped save his life.
“It was a miracle the Life Flight was able to take off because of the wind,” Thomas said.
“They almost couldn’t take off but there was a divine wind at the last second,” Thomas’ father, Brett Behling said. “They were able to take off and get him to the hospital.”
On July 13, Thomas and Brett were riding horses with friends when Thomas’ mustang bucked him off. Thomas fell and broke his back.
“It was one of those instances where I immediately ran over to him,” Brett said. “First thing he said is, ‘I can’t breathe.’ The second thing he said is, ‘I can’t feel my arms or legs.’”
Crews Life Flighted Thomas to Utah Valley Hospital, where he stayed for about a month. Three weeks ago, Thomas transferred to the University of Utah’s Craig H. Nielsen Rehab Hospital. It was while he as the hospital, Thomas learned the injury paralyzed him from the shoulders down.
Despite his injuries, one of Thomas’ biggest concerns is his farm back home. He bought his own land a year ago and before the accident, he spent his time taking care of it. Being 100 miles away in the hospital, no one was working on his farm.
At least, that’s what Thomas thought. Over 100 community members in Ferron volunteered to take care of Thomas’ farm.
Video on social media shows them in the yard for hours taking care of his crops and cleaning things up.
Brett says he hasn’t been able to go home once since he’s been at the hospital with Thomas the whole time, so he’s grateful for friends’ and neighbors’ help.
“We are so grateful and so emotional and so thankful to have such good neighbors and friends and family that will take care of things for us so that we can be here to support Thomas,” he said.
Thomas says seeing the community come together is giving him something to work towards.
“It makes me feel like I have a responsibility to them to try my hardest here, to do my best rehabilitation and work as hard for them,” he said. “It’s because they’re a big part of this story.”
The Ferron community says they plan to keep watching over the farm and hope to renovate his house with a wheelchair ramp when Thomas comes back home.