A weekend that was supposed to be filled with holiday fun, instead brought tragedy for several East Texas families. That includes the family of an 11-year-old Nacogdoches County boy who was critically injured in a go-cart accident on Saturday afternoon.
Collin Phillips is being treated by a team of medical experts at a Fort Worth Children's Hospital. His mother, Camala Phillips, tells the East Texas news that her son is making baby steps of progress.
Collin and his 8-year-old brother, Dakota, were riding a go cart across a dam when it fishtailed into a pond. Collin was able to unbuckle and free his brother, but not himself.
Kaylin Kendrick, a family spokesperson, said, "Right now, what Camala and Randy and Collin and Dakota are needing are our prayers. Right now, it is just a wait and see game, but he is doing a lot better than anticipated, so there is some things to be optimistic about."
Kendrick says the waiting room outside Collin's room is filled with friends and family members who continue to offer their support.
Collin Phillips would not be alive if it weren't for the heroic efforts of several men. Melrose Volunteer Fireman TJ Holliman was the first person on the scene. He and state Trooper John Henley were among those who rescued Collin from the six to eight feet of water he was trapped in.
The Phillips Family is also grateful for Nacogdoches County Sheriff's Deputies Shane Johnson and Randy Turner. They instantly dove into the frigid water to help free Collin without giving it a second thought.
Johnson said, "At that point, we didn't know the water was cold or anything about the water. I didn't give it a thought. We knew the boy was in the water and this fireman needed help."
Turner said, "I would have done it even if I didn't have this uniform. To me that's a natural reaction, to help a child."
Johnson and Turner say if there is a true hero in this story it is Collin Phillips, who managed to free his little brother after the accident happened.