It’s been almost a year since a freak accident almost claimed Tate Manahl’s young life. That year that followed would see thousands rallying behind Tate’s recovery. His father fears his son might not be here, if just one neighbor hadn’t been in the right place at the right time.
"I’d never met him before, I’d seen him mowing before," said Cory Johnson, one of the Manahl’s neighbors. Johnson had never met the Manahl’s until Tate’s tragic accident brought them together. Tate accidentally got caught under his father’s lawnmower.
"I heard Ryan scream, and you knew something was wrong just from the tone of this voice," said Johnson. "When I got there I saw that Tate’s leg was almost disconnected."
"I prayed just for his life," said Ryan Manahl, Tate’s father.
Manahl says his prayers were answered when johnson ran over and applied a tourniquet on the boy’s right leg.
"It’s awesome to see how God puts people in your life, through circumstances, yeah, it’s bad but if God never put them there in our life it would be a different story," said Manahl.
Today Tate runs and plays after undergoing multiple surgeries and months of physical therapy.
"He’s been amazing through this whole thing, I think he’s the biggest hero of all of them," said Johnson.
But for his own heroics, Johnson will receive this year’s Governor’s Life Saving Award.
"I didn’t really expect anything, I don’t need anything. I was just there at the right time. God put me there to do something, I was just a tool to hold Tate on until the paramedics got there," said Johnson.
Johnson will be given his award tomorrow morning at the Iowa State Fair by Governor Kim Reynolds. Manahl says Johnson is just part of the family now and that he can never say thank you enough for what his neighbors and first responders did to save Tate’s life.
Tate will also be at the state fair this Saturday as a "celebrity presenter" in a steer auction to raise money for Ronald McDonald House Charities.