Doctors are working to save the arm of a 4-year-old boy who was badly injured in a lawn mower accident.
A vascular surgeon and a hand doctor have already performed one surgery. Now, they're monitoring Truett Shacklett to see what the next step should be after his unfortunate accident with a riding mower.
The boy is going to need all of the toughness his young body can muster following the incident at his family's Lenexa home Sunday.
His father was mowing the lawn on a riding mower when he accidentally backed over him.
Truett lost his right leg below the knee.
He was transported by helicopter to Children's Mercy Hospital before being transferred to the University of Kansas Hospital, where specialists are working on saving his right arm.
The accident happened at 5:15 p.m. in the 27500 block of 83rd Street.
"Truett's a great kid. He's full of energy. He bounds around when he goes different places, and he is a tough kid too," said Cedar Ridge Christian Church Pastor Brian White.
Neighbor Chad Harvey knows how dangerous a riding mower can be.
"You know, your lawn mower can pick up an object that is the size of a half dollar and hurl it at the speed of a Major League pitch, and you can get really seriously hurt by it," Harvey said.
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, lawn mower accidents are more common than people might think, sending more than 3,700 children under 14 to the emergency room every year. More than 17,000 children and teens are treated by doctors.
Lawn mower expert Mark Reynolds said when on a riding mower, people treat it like a car.
"The first would be, I guess, to make sure there aren't any little people in the yard playing. But yes, if they mow in reverse, of course, they're at least as dangerous as a car if you back over someone," he said.
Manufacturers, like John Deere, are aware of the issue. Most riding mowers built within the last 10 to 12 years have several safety steps built in so people can't accidentally throw it in reverse.
Still, they recommend operators look down and behind before and while moving in reverse.
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