The sons of former Broncos receiver Ed McCaffrey rescued a 72-year-old man, who suffered life-threatening injuries, after he fell 25 feet on Castle Rock.
It was a beautiful Saturday morning for a hike. Christian, Dylan, and Max McCaffrey, along with friends Michael Mann and Brooke Pettet, decided to go to Castle Rock and enjoy the outdoors. As the group made their way towards the top, they came across something truly shocking.
Eli Smoker, 13, and his grandfather, Dan Smoker, Sr. were hiking. And then the 72-year-old fell back — about 25 feet onto a rock.
“I heard what sounded like a shoe slipping on some rock and then I heard him say, oh, like it sounded like his voice and I turn around about halfway through his fall and I see him hit the ground,” Eli Smoker told FOX31.
Christian said, “It felt like he was in the air for 10 seconds. I had never seen anything quite like that in my life as far as the trauma and the sound. We were in shock.”
Then Christian, along with his brothers and friends, rushed to help Dan. Christian called 9-1-1, while Michael and a fellow onlooker went to hold the man’s head still. And when Dan stopped breathing, Michael began performing chest compressions.
Dan Smoker III told CBS4, “It was one of the more trying moments of my life, honestly.” Smoker III and his wife were out of town celebrating their 15th wedding anniversary while his dad watched their kids.
Paramedics arrived merely 11 minutes after Christian called 9-1-1. “Amazing what those guys did,” Christian added.
Dan suffered multiple life-threatening injuries due to the fall, including a broken neck, a broken femur, a broken pelvis, nine fractured ribs, and even bleeding in the brain. He is, however, expected to make a full yet lengthy recovery. He is currently in the Intensive Care Unit at Sky Ridge Medical Center.
Smoker believes that without the efforts of the McCaffrey brothers and friends, his father’s outcome could have been a lot worse.
“They saved my dad’s life,” Smoker said. “There’s no reason that he’s here today except for them and the miracle they brought.”
The brothers then visited the Smoker family at the hospital the next day, and the family had no idea who they were until they stopped by. “They introduced themselves and I still hadn’t pieced it together. I can’t say I’d recognize Christian without his football gear on,” said Smoker.
Smoker posted on Twitter his gratitude towards the McCaffrey brothers:
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
Christian responded back to Smoker’s tweet, “I know where Eli gets his strength! Watched Dan Sr. fight with everything he has and I know will continue to do so! We’re praying for you guys! 🙏🏻”
Max also responded, “Dan is lucky to have such a strong and courageous grandson. Eli handled the tough situation in the best way possible. Continuously praying for Dan and your family!”
The brothers have reportedly remained in contact with the family, with Christian even exchanging text messages with Eli and getting updates on his grandfather’s condition. The McCaffrey family has also extended invitations to the Stokers to visit their home.
“We all took it upon ourselves to check up on that kid,” Christian said. “It could be a lifelong bond between us.”
I know I speak for all of us at OCN when I say that we wish Dan a speedy recovery!
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