A man is expected to survive after a van fell on him while he was working on it.
The following day, the man's common-law wife said she's happy he's going to pull through and she gave thanks to all those who helped.
Police left the house in the area of Jackson Avenue and 59th Terrace about 8 p.m. Tuesday, when they got word from the hospital that 50-year-old Eddie Kelly had taken a turn for the better and that he is now expected to survive.
Police said Kelly was working under the front part of a van when it collapsed on him. He was doing work on it for a friend.
"He's been working on that car for the last month, on the front brakes or something," neighbor Johnny Campbell said. "I'm praying for him. I'm sure everybody else is praying."
"Everybody was trying to figure out what to do," neighbor Marya Williams said.
What she and her children's father, Michael Lewis, did may have saved Kelly's life.
"The car was like literally on top of this guy and I jacked the van up and pulled the guy out from under it," Lewis said.
Others were there and began hollering for help. Their screams brought neighbors running. One neighbor brought a jack and, with a team effort, took the weight off of Kelly's face and chest until an ambulance arrived.
"The man started to breathe as the van went up ... and they pulled the rug up from him and the man was just, he wasn't looking right at all," Williams said.
Kathleena Todd has not left her man's side and will not, she said, until Kelly walks out of the hospital.
"I don't know what I'd do without him. We've been together for 22 years, so…" she said. "He's going to pull through. All he's got right now is a broken collar bone and some broken ribs."
That's better than anyone expected after what he'd been through.
Billy Oswald's father is good friends with Kelly and was around when the accident happened Tuesday evening.
"I thought I was going to pull out somebody that was, well, you know, I mean," Oswald said.
"That wasn't going to make it," KCTV5's Betsy Webster asked.
"Yeah, I mean he's my dad's friend forever, so my dad had a hard time with it," Oswald replied.
He said the driver's side of the van was lifted with a floor jack and the passenger's side with a portable jack that comes with most vehicles – the portable jack gave way.
Oswald said he and his family tried to lift the van, first by hand, then with the collapsed jack, but it wasn't working. They hollered for help and that's when Lewis came running with a jack of his own.
"If it wasn't for none of them, he wouldn't be here with us today," Todd said.
She said Kelly is heavily sedated right now because he kept trying to get out of bed and that would disconnect his tubes. He's already had five heart attacks and suffers from diabetes, so his blood pressure has been an issue, but she said doctors have stabilized it and expect him to survive.
While it looked like the van had smashed in Kelly's face, he thankfully suffered no facial injuries.
Copyright 2013 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.
Tuesday, July 22 2014 10:00 PM EDT2014-07-23 02:00:37 GMT
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