Taking a ride on the Zetus express
Published 8:02 pm Saturday, September 12, 2015
When the Zetus Volunteer Fire Department returned to the scene of a dramatic rescue on Gene Road Saturday, they came bearing pizzas.
Firefighters returned to uphold the promises made Monday night when 4-year-old Gabe Allbritton was stuck down a 23-foot well. They were ultimately able to remove him after convincing Gabe to pull the ropes over her arms above his elbow. In return, emergency responders promised him a ride in a fire truck and pizza.
Gabe’s mother, Lindy Allbritton, said he was even bribed with a visit from John Cena.
Although that part hasn’t happened yet, she feels confident that the famous wrestler will hear his story, and even that will come true.
Gabe acted shy during the visit Saturday, a behavior his mother said struck him recently. They visited the Lincoln County Wildlife Expo, and Gabe climbed to the top of a slide.
“He looked down and said ‘I don’t want to,’” she said. “I just told him to climb back down. Since then he’s been walking with his head down looking for holes.”
Although Lindy voiced concerns about how the trauma has affected Gabe, she said Dr. Mitch Holland, with King’s Daughters Medical Center Pediatric and Adolescent Clinic, assures her it will subside over time.
Lindy is learning to deal with her own traumatic experience as well.
“I panic every time he gets out of my eyesight,” she said. “He’ll look at me and say ‘Mom, I’m okay.’”
However, Lindy did say Gabe and his puppy have bonded since the experience — the dog was trapped in the well, too.
“Wherever Gabe goes, the puppy follows him,” she said.
The incident happened about 5 p.m. Monday when Gabe heard the puppy bark. Gabe turned back and then disappeared down the dry well.
“I had no clue he was down that far,” she said. “I expected to see him. I fell all to pieces.”
Lindy panicked and reached in after him, but of course could not reach him. She felt herself start sliding, and that’s when her daughter looked out to see what the screaming was about. Her daughter grabbed her legs and pulled her back out. Lindy said she believed that if her daughter hadn’t been so quick, she and her son would likely have died.
A number of emergency personnel responded, including multiple volunteer fire departments, the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office, the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency and several trenching teams from Hattiesburg, McComb and Jackson. But most importantly, the community showed up to help them through it.
“I just want to thank everybody for coming out today and helping the other day,” she said as she teared up. “I can never repay them for saving my son.”