Seventeen-year-old Bo Myers doesn’t wear a cape or a mask, but to his nephew, Carter Fancher, 7, Myers does have superhuman strength.
“He’s my hero, and he saved my life,” said Carter, a second-grader who lives in Central and attends Tanglewood Elementary School.
At the time, the seemingly inconsequential decision to leave his friends at a Zachary restaurant and head home early following baseball practice Feb. 18 is something Myers says he cannot explain.
“We stayed late at baseball practice to hit some balls like we always do then grabbed a bite to eat. Then I just decided to go home,” said Myers, a senior at Zachary High School.
When Myers arrived at his parents’ house, his youngest nephew, Clay Fancher, 4, was crying in the backyard.
“I thought one of my nephews had stubbed their toe or something, but then the youngest ran up to me and said, ‘My brother’s dead,’ ” Myers said. “That’s when I saw Carter lying facedown pinned beneath a metal table.”
According to Mello Myers, Bo Myers’ mother, the table is a 600-pound steel tabletop that only days earlier took five men to lift and move.
Having learned cardiopulmonary resuscitation in his class about two weeks prior, Bo Myers said he sprang into action.
“I told Clay to go inside and tell his mom or my mom to call 911. That’s when the two of them came running outside screaming like wild women,” Bo Myers said.
Bo Myers’ sister, Paige Fancher, is the mother of Carter and Clay and was visiting with her two sons and toddler daughter. The three are Mello Myers’ grandchildren and Bo Myers’ nephews and niece.
Bo Myers said he just lifted the table off of Carter, turned him over and began checking for responsiveness, but there was nothing.
“That’s when I started doing chest compressions,” Bo Myers said.
“I didn’t even know my brother knew CPR,” Paige Fancher said. “I was kneeling on the grass crying and praying. I truly thought my son was dead. I could’ve been at a funeral the next day, it all happened so fast. It’s a miracle Bo was able to lift up that table.”
Bo Myers said his nephew’s body was limp and he knew something was seriously wrong.
“Everything just came back to me. I remember thinking, ‘OK, this is not a dummy. This is a real person,’ ” Bo Myers said.
The Zachary senior said that after about the fifth or sixth cycle of compressions, his nephew began to cry a little but never opened his eyes.
It was then that the paramedics arrived, according to Mello Myers.
Sean “Doc” Stanton, who teaches the first responder class at ZHS, says he’s happy Bo Myers used the knowledge he learned in class to save his nephew.
“It’s one of the main reasons I teach this class — because you never know when you’ll need it,” Stanton said.
Besides Bo Myers, Stanton says he’s had several students put the CPR skills into practice.
“They may never have to use them. Hopefully they won’t, but if they do, they have the knowledge,” Stanton said. “The two most important things to remember about CPR is that 911 operators are there to assist you and never be afraid to use CPR. You can’t hurt anyone anymore than they are already, especially if they’re not breathing.”
According to Julie McLin, marketing director at Lane Regional Medical Center, Bo Myers’ story ties into the Burke Cobb Act.
Cobb was a 14-year-old student-athlete at Dutchtown High School when he went into sudden cardiac arrest on the basketball court and died surrounded by about 25 other students.
Cobb’s death was due to an unknown heart condition called hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.
In June, Gov. Bobby Jindal signed the Burke Cobb Act into law, making Louisiana the 17th state to require all high school students to learn CPR.
Beginning with the 2014-15 school year, high school students now receive CPR and automated external defibrillator training so that they will be ready and able to act whenever they witness an emergency at home or within the community, McLin said.
“We are so thankful for the first responder class with Sean Stanton,” Mello Myers said. “You hear of mothers lifting cars off their children. Somehow, by divine intervention and a miracle, Bo was able to lift that table off of Carter.
“My daughter and I were frantic, but Bo stayed very calm. I will forever be grateful. God gave our family a miracle.”
“I’ve learned not to climb on things and learned about CPR. It’s when somebody breathes into you while they push on your stomach,” Carter said. “If it wasn’t for Bo, I think I’d have died.”
Carter’s mother says now when she looks at her son and her brother, she sees two best buddies and is thankful for the miracle of her brother knowing CPR and saving his nephew’s life.