FARMINGTON, NY (WROC) — It was a matter of life and death. A young boy struck by a tumbling rock while hiking with his family in Naples was helped by New York State Police Trooper Sergeant Joe Eallonardo. News 8 caught up with him at the Troop E Headquarters in Farmington and honored him with our First Responders Spotlight Award.
Back in June on Father’s Day weekend, Sgt. Eallonardo was taking a hike at Grimes Glen in Naples while off-duty with his family. One of his girls asked him, “Dad…are you seeing this?”, Eallonardo then turning his head.
“I hadn’t noticed a gentlemen coming out of my peripheral carrying what I soon found to be a really injured child,” says Eallonardo. He says it was a young boy in the arms of a very panicked father, Ty Wilson.
Wilson was completely exhausted from carrying his four-year-old son, Quincy. A rock had come tumbling out of nowhere, hitting the child on the right side of his head, knocking him out.
“He had an obvious fracture to his skull and he was in rough shape,” says Eallonardo.
Time was a critical factor, and Eallonardo helped relieve Wilson and carry his boy out to a nurse and proper medical care. The young child was later treated at Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester.
Wilson says Eallonardo saved his boy’s life, who is now out of the hospital and on the mend with a traumatic brain injury. “Part of his skull came forward and part of it came out, and the part that was impacted went into the brain and lacerated the brain,” says Wilson on his son’s injury. He says his son’s spatial awareness is affected and things like giving a ‘high five’ are difficult at the moment.
“I owe a lot of credit to Joe and that nurse who were there because they didn’t hesitate. You’re my guardian angel. That’s what I told him,” says Wilson.
Captain Barry Chase says having one of his best guys on the force honored like this is touching. “It’s great for us, it’s great for law enforcement as a whole and it’s great for the community.”
While Eallonardo loves the goodies from sponsor Dunkin’ and the First Responders Spotlight award, he hopes people see that this scenario was just a man helping another family to do what’s best in a crisis.
“Anyone could have done what I did to help. (Wilson) agrees, he was so thankful and I said I appreciate you being thankful, but I know he would have done it for me.”
Eallonardo was also given a ‘Critical Incident Award’ from Strong Memorial for his efforts.