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June 14, 2021

Gavin Littleton, 15, critically injured in diving accident

By Emily Ford
eford@salisburypost.com
SALISBURY — A Salisbury family is asking the community to pray for the recovery of Gavin Littleton, 15, who suffered a spinal cord injury Wednesday when he dove off a boat into shallow water at High Rock Lake.
Littleton remains critically injured at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center today, where the teenagers who saved his life have gathered to support their friend.
Littleton, a rising sophomore at North Rowan High School, will undergo surgery Friday for a broken neck, said his grandmother, Karen Littleton.
The teenagers were swimming near the dam at High Rock when Littleton dove off his family’s pontoon boat around 6:30 p.m.
Zach Lemmon was in the water when Littleton dove in and said his friend did not come up. When Lemmon got to the spot where Littleton entered, he found Littleton unconscious under about three fee of water.
Lemmon pulled Littleton from the muddy bottom and lifted him to Thomas Tucker, who was on the pontoon.
Littleton was not breathing and had no pulse, said Nick Cornacchione, an Eagle Scout trained in CPR.
Cornacchione began CPR while the other boys drove the pontoon to a nearby fishing boat and called 911. They pleaded with the family that was fishing to help, and a family member trained in CPR boarded the pontoon to help Cornacchione try to resuscitate Littleton.
They transfered Littleton to the fishing board, where the fisherman and Cornacchione continued CPR as the boat raced to Tamarac Marina, where Liberty Volunteer Fire Department first responders took over.
Littleton was airlifted to Baptist.
“These kids are heroes,” Karen Littleton said. “Their quick thinking and action and working together saved Gavin’s life.”
Littleton said her grandson is heavily sedated but was able to open his eyes today and knew family members were in the room.
“We are asking for prayers. If love could heal him, he would be home today,” she said.
The Littleton family would like to know the identities of the fishermen who also helped save Gavin’s life.
Read more in Friday’s Post.
Contact reporter Emily Ford at 704-797-4264.

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