When a shed collapsed on their father’s head, all his kids could do was look on in horror. However, as they realized the magnitude of the situation, they knew they had to help. So, that’s when they devised an ingenious plan.
Matt Gannaway lives in Marshalltown, Iowa, with his four children, Ethan, 13, Peyton, 11, Addison, nine, and Kaidan, five. Moreover, like many dads, he loved nothing more than spending quality time with his kids. So, when his mom had some DIY for him, he decided to make it a family affair.
Matt thought it might be fun to get his children to help him dismantle his mother’s old shed. The shed had been in the yard for 40 years. However, since Matt’s mom was moving house, she wanted it taken down.
As a result, Matt and his children spent an hour and a half dismantling the wooden structure. At first, things went to plan. “Everything was going great,” he subsequently told CBS News in June 2017. “The kids were all helping well.”
So, in no time at all, the team got the shed to a point where it could simply collapse in on itself. As this was the most dangerous point of the task, Matt told his kids to wait inside the house. However, that’s when matters took a terrifying turn.
“It came down like it was supposed to,” Matt explained to Fox 8. “But then it flipped over sideways and knocked me out and pinned me underneath it.” Indeed, the resulting blow rendered the doting father unconscious.
Still, luckily for him, his children heard the commotion from inside their grandmother’s home. According to Matt’s daughter, Addison, the noise sounded like a large “Kaboom.” So, she and her siblings went outside to investigate.
“All I saw was the shed just crashing down and my dad being trapped,” Addison continued. As a result, she and the other children immediately leaped into action. Recalling her thoughts at the time, the nine-year-old said that all she could think was, “He’s gasping for air. I must save him.”
The sight was particularly traumatic for Matt’s five-year-old son, Kaidan. “He was bleeding on his head and neck and all over the place,” Kaidan recalled. So, along with his brother and sisters, he set to work on the rescue efforts.
Thankfully, before sending them into the house, Matt had told them what to do in case of an emergency. “I had them step outside the fence, in the house, and then I gave my son a cell phone and said, ‘If anything bad happens call 911,’” the dad told Inside Edition.
Moreover, that’s exactly what the children did. However, while they waited for emergency crews to arrive, they decided they needed to get their dad to safety. So, along with two other kids from the neighborhood, they hatched a plan to release Matt from the wreckage.
The children subsequently worked together to somehow lift the shed and drag their dad to safety. “It was a heavy shed,” 13-year-old Ethan told CBS News. “We tried to keep him from dying and get the ambulance over here to save him.”
Amazingly, little Addison forgot all about a recent softball injury in order to save her dad. “A softball hit me right here and cracked my bone,” she told Fox 8. Nonetheless, she endured the pain to help her dad. “Family comes before my body,” she said.
Matt was unconscious for around five minutes. Still, as soon as he came around, he knew that help was on its way. “I woke up to hear the sirens pulling up in front of the house,” he told CBS News. “I was just in extreme, extreme pain.”
Paramedics rushed Matt to hospital, where doctors found he had a broken scapula. He also had a graze to the head where he believed the shed had hit him. Moreover, the dad knew that if it wasn’t for his kids, things could have been much different.
The whole incident has made him reevaluate what’s important. “Especially after a situation like this, you have to live your life to the fullest, and my family and kids are number one to me,” he told Fox 8.
Later, Matt’s kids claimed that it was their positive attitude that helped them to save their dad. “Nothing is impossible if we set our minds to it and work together,” his son Ethan said. “I don’t think on a normal basis kids can lift a roof off their dad who’s pinned against the wall.”
In the end, the kids were just pleased that they could help out. “I’m very happy to see that my dad is OK and made it through it,” Ethan later told KCRG TV. “I don’t know what I would have done if he had died.”
Moreover, just hours after his accident, Matt had returned to dad duty. In fact, despite his ordeal, he took his kids to softball practice. “The least I could do is try to support them a little bit,” he told the Marshalltown Times-Republican.
From now on, their dad will always be thankful for his little heroes. Indeed, he wouldn’t have it any other way. “I’m just absolutely so proud of them,” Matt said. “[When] I heard that my kids were the ones that saved me, I couldn’t have had a prouder moment.”