ARLINGTON (CBS11) – Impaled by a fence post, an Arlington teen thought he was dying.
One month later, Patrick Bryant-O’Neal, 17, still has a hole in his body that a two-by-four stabbed through him.
“It’s hard,” admits the teen.
19-year-old Cody Young was driving last month, when he hit a construction cone, lost control, and flipped his car with five teens inside.
“I thought I was going to lose my best friend,” said Cody.
Patrick was the last one to crawl out of the car and saw his friends’ reactions.
“I looked at all their faces again, and they just dropped white. Like, ‘Don’t look down, bro. Don’t look down.’ And, I looked down. And, I realized there was a huge piece of wood inside me,” he remembers.
During the crash, Patrick says he held his sister, 15-year-old Elizabeth, thinking only of saving her life, even if it cost him his own.
“They put him on the gurney, and he started bleeding from his stomach. And, I thought, this is the last time I’m going to see him. This is the last time that I’m going to get to see my brother,” she remembers.
Patrick has had nine surgeries to fix broken ribs, a shattered tailbone, and injured organs.
When doctors removed the wood from his abdomen, he says they found a piece of his shirt and part of a 32 oz McDonald’s drink cup inside his body.
Having nurses clean his still open wound several times a week is excruciating.
“He is screaming, begging, and pleading. ‘Please, guys, stop. Stop. Stop. It’s hurting so bad’,” said his mother, Kelly Bryant.
She responds, “Pray, baby, pray. I’ll pray with you because they can’t stop.”
Patrick says it’s prayer, along with support from family and friends, that is helping him pull through.
“I drop everything. I do everything I can to help,” says Young, who struggles with feelings of guilt.
Patrick says he’s thankful for it all.
“Everything is so much more appreciated because I never thought I would see another day,” he said.
Family members have created a GoFundMe account to help with the cost of his recovery.
(©2015 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)