Celebrating life: FFA heroes reflect on how quick thinking led to rescue of fellow member
Not all heroes wear capes. Sometimes, they wear blue jackets.
On May 4, Alex Lowe and Wyatt Lyles, both students at Barren County High School in Glasgow, Kentucky, and members of the Barren County FFA Chapter, were hailed as heroes after saving a fellow FFA member’s life earlier this month following a motor vehicle accident.
Lowe, a junior, and Lyles, a sophomore, were driving home separately after their annual FFA banquet when they came across a flipped vehicle. They both pulled over to see if they could help when they realized the vehicle was smoking.
“We knew we had to find whoever was in that vehicle,” Lyles said.
They discovered the injured driver was one of their classmates, sophomore Nataly Holmon.
“When I saw it was Nataly, that made it even harder to believe,” Lowe said.
Another passerby called 911 while Lowe and Lyles pulled Holmon out of her vehicle.
Lowe and Lyles carried Holmon to the opposite end of the road and realized one of her arms was “barely hanging on” and bleeding profusely. Lyles took off his dress shirt and Lowe removed his belt to make a makeshift tourniquet until help arrived.
“I remember hearing a lot of people yelling, but when I heard Alex’s voice, I knew I was going to get out of there,” Holmon said. “And then I heard Wyatt’s voice, and I said ‘We’ve got this. I’m going to be OK.’”
Holmon remembers the entire accident – including the moment she realized the seriousness of her injuries later on.
“I remember asking Alex if I was going to die and he didn’t skip a beat when he said “No,” Holmon said.
Holmon was taken by helicopter to Vanderbilt Hospital in Nashville, where doctors told her she had sustained an arterial bleed and a compound fracture in her arm. Doctors removed a vein from one of her legs to fix the artery in her arm. After undergoing a seven-hour surgery and other procedures, she is now on her way to recovery.
“Those boys saved her life,” Holmon’s mother, Keithena, said.
Lowe and Lyles are quick to shrug off the praise from the community and their FFA advisor, Doug Berry. But they also recognize their actions saved someone’s life.
They also don’t consider it a coincidence that all three of them were together at the same time.
“I fully believe God was right there with us every step of the way,” Lowe said.
Berry said the actions of his students have been inspiring for both himself and the rest of his students – and they serve as an important reminder of how FFA shapes young leaders.
“You don’t have to be a chapter president or vice president to be a leader,” Berry said. “A true leader is going to be anybody, anywhere, and these boys are true examples of that.”