BRADENTON, Fla. (FOX 13) - It's been one year since Colton Lawson lost both of his legs in a tragic accident involving a tractor.
He nearly lost his life. But the men and women surrounding him Tuesday were the miracle workers who made sure he survived.
Colton and his parents got a chance to meet them again, and say 'thank you.'
Colton's mom, April Costello fought back tears as she was surrounded by an army of guardian angels. She knows, if not for them, last June could have been the last time she held her son.
“I want to thank you for being you and for doing what you do on a daily basis,” Costello said. “You do it so well. My son would not be here today without you so, thank you.”
On the hot summer day, Colton was out with his dad in their tractor when a freak accident happened. The tractor ran over Colton's legs.
“I instantly thought I was going to lose him that day and I almost did,” Costello remembered.
Colton was left clinging to life as she frantically dialed 911. Manatee County dispatchers answered the call.
“For me, it was very vivid. One of the questions kind of made it reality was when she told me the age of the child. I thought of my own child,” Training Officer Melissa Colon said.
“I remember her voice. It was so shaky in asking, ‘Where are they?’ All I kept saying and repeating was ‘They are on their way. They are on their way,’” dispatcher Marisa Carpenter said.
Manatee County EMS crews, dispatchers, deputies, and fire rescue all frantically worked against the clock to save Colton.
“Everyone just became involved together. It was just a team. We kind of became one. Main goal: Get Colton medical help. Get him to the helicopter. Get him help as soon as possible,” said dispatcher Jenna Anselmo.
That teamwork paid off.
“You’re amazed at the perseverance at what he’s been through,” said retired Manatee County dispatcher John Mercer. “In my 31 years of doing this, this has to be the top five, No.1 story that sticks with you through your whole career.”
Colton lost both of his legs but his life was saved. Now he’s a happy 3-year-old boy; a living example that good things can happen when people come together.
“Every single one of them went above and beyond. They did things that they weren’t supposed to do. They did things that they didn’t have authority to do just to save my son’s life and that is something I can never repay them for,” Costello said.
Colton and his family are working on starting a foundation called Limb, Laugh, Love. They want to let others know this can happen to anyone and help other families going through similar situations.