Texas High students awarded for lifesaving actions after classmate suffers diving accident

LifeNet recognizes seniors, Connor Anderson and Rachel Sorenson, as well as junior, Jera Davis

Three Texas High School students were recognized by LifeNet on Wednesday afternoon for their heroic efforts moments after classmate, Mayten Lumpkin, suffered serious injuries in a diving accident that took place on September 17, 2016.

The Lifesaver Award was presented to three courageous students on Wednesday, October 13 at Texas High School.

LifeNet recognized seniors, Connor Anderson and Rachel Sorenson, as well as junior, Jera Davis for their helpful and valorous actions which played a substantial role in saving Mayten Lumpkin’s life on September 17, after a diving accident that left him in critical condition.

“This shows the tremendous students that they are,” said Texas High School Principal, Brad Bailey. “Not a lot of people have that ability to react that fast, and to know what to do in a situation like that. I am so proud of them for being able to be there, to stabilize him so he could get help and it saved his life. We are so proud of them for their efforts.”

According to school officials, 17-year-old Mayten Lumpkin was spending the afternoon swimming at a friends home when he dove into the pool, hitting his head on the floor of the pool. The impact caused Mayten to lose consciousness.

17-year-old Mayten Lumpkin

Senior, Mayten Lumpkin, awoke face down in the pool unable to move any of his extremities. He was able to float to the top of the water, roll over and call for help.

Classmate and friend, Connor Anderson, recognized the seriousness of the situation and acted quickly.

Without prior training, Connor immediately began working with friends, Rachel Sorenson and Jera Davis to stabilize Mayten’s neck while he was still in the water. Even though Mayten was requesting to be pulled to the side of the pool to sit up, Connor convinced Mayten that he should remain still.

With assistance from Rachel, Connor held Mayten’s head above water and asked Jera to grab a pool float. They placed the pool float under the heaviest portion of Mayten to help him float and be stabilized while they continued to hold his head straight and leveled. Jera left to have Connor’s mother dial 9-1-1.

According to LifeNet Paramedic Bruce Townsend, who responded to the call, “The group did an amazing job. I have no doubt that what they did to keep Mayten calm, still and supported either saved his life or kept him from further damage. The group held his neck and floated his body on a raft, and I believe it made a lifesaving difference.”

Paramedics Bruce Townsend and David Baumgardner presented the award to these three valiant students, and explained the importance of their actions, swift thinking and care. “It made all the difference in the world,” stated Baumgardner.

After the accident, Mayten was transported to a local hospital, and later taken to Parkland Hospital in Dallas where he underwent surgery.

Mayten Lumpkin is currently at TIRR Memorial Hermann Rehabilitation and Research facility where he has began rehabilitation. He is working unyieldingly to return to normalcy, and remains in high spirits thanks to the constant support from his family, classmates, and friends who anxiously await for his return to school and everyday life.

“It’s a slow process, he’s having a lot of pain from the surgery to repair his neck but it’s gotten better,” explained Mayten’s father, Todd Lumpkin. “He is at TIRR Memorial in Houston, which is rated number 2 in the country for spinal chord rehabilitation. We are just now starting the process to get him into rehab. He’s not regained anything that he lost from the accident but his arms and wrists are getting a lot stronger.”

Mayten’s father says at the moment it is unclear what the future holds as far as recovery, but they are hopeful. The Lumpkin’s expressed their gratitude for the support TISD and the entire community of Texarkana has given them through this difficult time.

“I’ve never been so proud to be from Texarkana. From the schools, the students, to just total strangers. The prayer for him is unbelievable, it’s so uplifting. We can just feel the power from everyone’s prayers.”

Texas High School students wear yellow to show support and in hopes of uplifting classmate and friend, Mayten Lumpkin.
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