Teenage boy keeps father, hit and injured by falling boulder, alive

Charlie Finlayson, 13, is Idaho’s newest hero.

On August 17, the young teenager and his father went backpacking near Ship Island Lake in Idaho in an area known as “River of No Return Wilderness.”

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During their trek, a boulder came loose and tumbled toward the pair. It hit 52-year-old David Finlayson, who fell 30 feet down a mountain and was knocked unconscious.

“If the boulder had landed on me, I’d be dead for sure,” David told Good Morning America.

He broke his back, his left arm and his left heel. He also suffered an injury to his left leg that exposed the bone. 

“At first I was freaking out a little bit, but after a few minutes I kind of calmed down and thought, 'I have to help him out and get his sleeping bag and stuff,'" Charlie told KTVB.

Charlie, a Boy Scout, put his skills to the test. He helped dress his father’s wounds and brought him food, clothes and a sleeping bag.

But David’s condition was bad.

"He was kind of getting hypothermic because he had lost so much blood," Charlie said.

“He was my savior,” David told the Idaho Statesman. “He just kind of coached me along with the pain and tried to help me not pass out. He kept talking to me all night. 

Two days after the fall, David sent Charlie to look for help. He wrote a note explaining the situation.

Three miles into Charlie’s hike for help, he ran into a group of men. He later found another man who ran 8 miles to call for help. A helicopter crew was called and airlifted David to safety.

David has already had two surgeries, and it’s likely that he will need more.

“We had a pretty solid relationship with each other before this happened,” David told GMA, "but it's definitely concrete now, or granite, maybe, is the way to put it.”

The duo said that they’ll continue to go on adventures together.

David said the next trip will be to the beach, and Charlie said they’ll make sure to bring a radio to call for help on future trips.

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