A life saved, for a life saved

By: Amelia Cerling Email
By: Amelia Cerling Email

MONDOVI (WEAU) -- Usually when you hear what goes around comes around, it's not a good thing. But in the case of a teenager and a volunteer firefighter from Mondovi what came around was a life, saved.

Three years ago 13-year-old Tanner Franson suffered a stroke after playing in the snow with friends. He was rescued by EMS crews and taken to Sacred Heart Hospital.

This summer Tanner repaid one of those EMS crews, by saving his life.

In early December of 2008 shortly after he suffered his life changing stroke, we visited Tanner Franson when he was still spending much of his time in a hospital bed.

“I had to learn everything on my right side, had to go through a lot of therapy, it took maybe a year, year and a half to get everything back,” he tells us.

On that fateful December day it was longtime volunteer firefighter and emergency responder Jim Rud who took Tanner to the hospital.

Fast-forward three years to this summer. Jim was doing some mowing around Mirror Lake in Mondovi when his mower tipped over and fell on top of him. He ended up in the lake!

“The first second I was thinking good I’m not hurt, but then as the water started coming back up I was worried I was going to drown then all I could think was what my wife and kids were gonna do,” Jim remembers.

Then, he started hollering for help.

“Me and my friends were at the park just goofing off and this one lady was over there and she started screaming and said call 911 someone is in the water,” Tanner recalls.

Tanner and his friends sprang into action, jumped in the water and pulled the heavy mower off of him.

“It was kind of scary, it was a life or death situation,” Tanner tells us.

Jim says he was more than grateful, “I seen Tanner a few weeks later at a football game and I just said something to him about how him and I were even,” Jim says.

A life saved, for a life saved. Jim says you never know when you'll need help, and who will answer the call.

“When you live in small town most of us end up being connected anyway. You never know who you might help today; you might be on the other end of it, next week, next month, three years later you never know,” Jim says.

He adds, had the water been even two inches deeper he easily could have drowned when that mower tipped over.

Both Tanner and Jim say they now share a special connection, after helping each other out in such a literally life changing way.


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