LORIDA — Trace Leadingham, 15, who will be starting 10th grade at Sebring High School on Wednesday, ended his summer vacation by possibly saving the life of a man who had fallen from a ladder.
Steve Doty of Lorida described Trace as the “bravest little soul I ever saw in my life.”
Trails End Fishing Resort owner Gary Albin had just completed work on a roof when the ladder slipped and he fell face-down onto the concrete, said Doty, who watched the rescue effort from across a canal Thursday morning.
Doty said he couldn’t get there because of his bad back, but Trace came to Albin’s aid as he bled profusely.
“It looked like part of his forehead had caved in,” he said. “That little boy got a towel and put it on Gary’s face and controlled the bleeding. He saved that man’s life.”
Trace said he had been doing odd jobs for Albin for about a year.
“I was right around the corner and his mother-in-law was talking to him and then I heard the ladder fall down and I heard her just start screaming,” he said. “Gary was yelling for me to flip him over.”
Trace gently turned Albin over onto his back and noticed a big gash on his forehead. He asked Gary’s mother-in-law, Alma Odum, to get some ice and a towel to put on his head.
“I just kept talking to him and was beside him the whole time until the ambulance got there, which was like 25 minutes,” Trace said. “I knew I had to put pressure on it or he would just keep bleeding.”
Odum said Monday that Albin was airlifted to Lakeland Regional Medical Center.
He has casts on both arms and had stitches in his head, she said. He has a fractured thymus, which is a lymphoid organ that is immediately beneath the breastbone at the level of the heart.
“He’s black and blue all over,” Odum said. He may need surgery on one his elbows.
Odum said Trace was “really a big help.”