Sharp-eyed Franklin boy saves man’s life

Published 10:41 am Monday, April 3, 2017

A 6-year-old Franklin boy is credited with recently saving a man’s life.

Karter Thorpe and his grandmother, Carolyn Cook, were shopping on Armory Drive last Thursday when he saw somebody lying flat in a parking lot.

“I was headed to the shopping center where the Auto Zone is, and I was not paying attention,” said Cook. “I took the wrong turn and cut through Lowe’s and was just looking straight ahead.”

Karter Thorpe, 6, is credited with saving a man’s life because he insisted to his grandmother he had seen him on the ground. — SUBMITTED | CAROLYN COOK

That’s when Karter, who was in the backseat, said, “Mimi, there’s a man on the ground.”

She didn’t see anybody, only a truck, and said no there wasn’t anyone, but “he would not take no for answer. ‘OK, I’ll go back.’ When I pulled up behind the truck, I said, ‘Oh, my God! Karter, you were right!’”

Cook got out and saw the man was gasping and trying to speak. She grabbed her phone and called 911, describing the situation. He stopped breathing and then started again. Cook said she was in “panic mode.”

All the while, Karter was calm during the experience. He got out of the car to look, but his grandmother sent him back.

Then a woman pulled up and immediately performed CPR until police arrived.

Her identity is unknown, having left as soon as the officers took over.

“She’s an angel,” said Cook. “I wish she’d come forward.”

Later, she learned that the man did have a heart attack and was taken to the MCV Hospital, where he’s recovering. The patient had requested privacy, but will meet with his young rescuer at a later time.

The police said that if it had not been for Karter, that man wouldn’t be here today.

“He was so proud of himself,” Cook said of her grandson. “I’m just thankful for being in the wrong place at the right time.”

Promising to learn CPR as well, she added with laughter, “It showed me I need to listen to Karter more often.”

A first grade student at Riverdale Elementary School, Karter lives with Cook and his grandfather, Troy, of Black Creek.