Cedar Falls family advocating for lawn mower safety after tragic - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Cedar Falls family advocating for lawn mower safety after tragic accident

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CEDAR FALLS (KWWL) -

An eastern Iowa family is hoping no other family has to go through what they went through.

The Manahl family is advocating for lawn mower safety after a tragic accident last summer. 

Ryan Manahl was mowing his lawn, as well as two of his neighbors' lawns. His wife and kids were out running errands. When they returned home, Manahl didn't hear his son, Tate, get out of the car and run towards him. 

"Then I felt a bump, and that's when I looked down, and that's when I saw Tate covered by the lawn mower," Manahl said.

The lower half of Tate’s body was under the mower.

"I looked into his eyes. That was the worst part of it all. When we made eye contact. I finally got the lawn mower off. That's when I saw how bad it was. It kind of looked like something just exploded." 

A neighbor came out, after hearing Manahl scream. He tied a tourniquet on Tate's right leg.

"Sirens were coming, and Tate always hated sirens... So I knew at that point I had to keep him calm. I told him they're coming to get you, Tate. I'm going to be with you, Tate. I'm not going to leave you," Manahl said. 

"Seeing how bad it was, what started going through your head is this could be possibly be the last couple minutes of this child's short life. It was the worst thing. He started fading in and out a couple of times, and I just kept telling him how much I love him and to stay there with me." Manahl said. 

Tate was taken to a local hospital before he was flown to the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. 

Surgeons worked for hours to save the 4-year-old boy's life and to save his legs. Doctors say the quick actions of the family, the neighbors, and the first responders helped save Tate's life. 

"You just never can prepare for anything like this when it comes to your child," Manahl adds. 

After months of surgery, recovery and hard work, Tate was finally able to return home. 

Now his family is asking people to think about lawn mower safety. They say lawn mower accidents are the number one cause of childhood amputations. 

The Cedar Falls family is asking families to keep their kids inside and away when lawn mowers are being used. 

They are also reminding parents to not let their kids ride on them either. 

The Manahl family adds that they are so grateful to neighbors, doctors and the community for all of their support. Click here to  learn more about lawn mower safety. 

Click here for the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics article about this. 

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