Monday July 15th, 2024 2:22PM

Hiram boy recovering after being hit by falling tree in Helen

By AccessWDUN Staff

A 12-year-old boy from Hiram, just west of Atlanta, is continuing to recover after he was struck by a falling tree Saturday while tubing in Helen.

Brodie Stidham was tubing with his family in the Chattahoochee River at about 5:40 p.m. when he was struck by the tree, according to Brodie’s father, Ross.

“My wife noticed the tree, she said, ‘That tree looks like it’s falling,’” Ross said. “And some of us looked up and about that time you heard the tree crack, and it just came down.”

Ross said Brodie was the only person who was struck by the tree, but it immediately knocked him unconscious, sending him underwater.

“Doing the father thing, I moved as quick as I could to get to him and picked him up and carried him to shore,” Ross said.

Brodie was transported to Northeast Georgia Medical Center Gainesville, then transferred to the Intensive Care Unit at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.

“He has no use of his right arm,” Ross said. “That’s possibly due to the swelling and bleeding on the brain. They’re watching critical for 72 hours up here in ICU to continue to check the swelling in the brain and the bleeding.”

Ross said Brodie and his family were in Helen just days after a big occasion.

“He just turned 12 on Thursday,” Ross said. “He’s an outdoors person – he loves doing stuff outdoors. We had talked about how we used to come up here when we were younger and go tubing, and he said, ‘That sounds fun, I want to go up there.’”

Brodie is in the seventh grade and is taking all advanced classes, according to Ross.

“He’s got the biggest heart of anybody possibly imaginable,” Ross said. “He’s an old little man, we tease him, because he’s ‘Yes sir, yes ma’am,’ very respectful. He would do something for anybody.”

Ross also said video games are a big passion of Brodie’s.

“As crazy as this sounds, he’s actually designing a video game,” Ross said. “He’s writing code for it and everything. There first time he told me about it, I was like ‘Oh, that’s great.’ And then it registered and I turned around and I said, ‘I’m sorry, what did you just say?’ It brought tears to my eyes.”

 

Original story published Saturday at 8 p.m.:

A boy has been hospitalized after being hit by a tree that fell in a river in Helen Saturday afternoon.

Helen Police Chief Aletha Barrett confirmed Saturday evening that the incident happened just after 5:40 p.m. while the boy was in the Chattahoochee River.

No further details, including the boy's status or age, have been released. No other injuries have been reported in the incident.

The Helen Fire Department and Habersham County EMS also responded to the scene.

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