JUNCTION CITY, Kan. (WIBW) -- Shane Taylor is thankful to be alive after a front porch caved in on top of him at a friend’s house on East 12th Street in Junction City.
The dangerous collapse happened on Saturday, May 12, 2012.
But Taylor was not alone on the porch as it started to fall apart- nearby was his friend’s 11-year-old daughter, Morrena Adams.
"I was over at my uncle’s shop working on cars and the neighbor’s daughter had come over and asked me if I had heard something that her mother had said to me earlier. Her mother is a friend of mine. So we go to find out what it was and her and I walk up to the porch. She gets up to the screen door, I follow her and I’m about two feet behind her and I hear some cracking and see the porch roof start to separate from the house. About that time, I knock her out of the way and put my arms up and just catch what’s coming at me. It comes down and folds me up into an accordion basically- shoves my head and chin into my chest, breaks my sternum, cracks my ribs, collapses a lung at that point. Then my chest collapsed onto my hips and did damage to my spine. I had no way to scream. It just crushed me basically," Taylor explained.
Neighbors and emergency crews freed Taylor from the debris and he spent most of the week in a Wichita hospital being treated for his injuries. He had surgery on his spine to repair several vertebrates. Morrena, meanwhile, walked away with only a few bumps and bruises.
Taylor is a former volunteer firefighter and he says it was his natural instinct to put Morrena's safety before his own.
"I didn’t even think about saving her. It was just a natural reaction. I used to be a volunteer firefighter for the Westmoreland Fire Department and I attribute everything to their training. Even if it was an adult, I’m thinking I’m going to take care of them before I take care of myself. I’d rather put myself through the agony then watch somebody else go through it and especially a child. I think I was under there for about 20-30 minutes. I was trying to scream and just couldn’t. My uncle and surrounding neighbors came and lifted it off of me and then EMS and firefighters came after that. Volunteers were shoving blocks underneath the rubble to crib it up enough so they could get me out and get me to the hospital," Taylor added..
His road to recovery will be a long one but Taylor says if he had to do it all over again, he wouldn’t change a thing.
"Being under that thing, I didn’t know if I was going to get out. They didn’t know that I was under there at first and I had no way to say anything and I was afraid. All of the trauma hit me at once and I was going out. It’s been a horrible experience but I’d do it for anybody any day of the week," he told 13 News.
"He pushed her off the porch and took the whole brunt of the roof. I was very surprised that he was still alive because it was unbelievably heavy. I want to tell him thank you very much over and over because he saved my daughter’s life," said Andrew Adams, Morrena's father.
Melonie Adams, Morrena's mother said: "We are so appreciative and have the utmost respect and admiration for him in the biggest part of my heart. I personally feel like I owe him a great amount of love and attention from this family because of what he’s done for us. My daughter is her own witness to his heroism so he’s definitely played a huge part in her life. She said if it wasn’t for him that she would have been dead. It was one thing seeing him under there and not knowing if he was going to make it or not and then knowing on top of that what he did for my daughter, was unreal and his actions were the biggest part of that day. He's a hero to us."
"I hope he gets better soon because it feels like I owe him my whole life for saving me and that was a big thing that he did for me," Morrena Adams told WIBW.