WEST JORDAN — Briana Churchill and Taylor Rodriquez say their 16-year-old brother likely wouldn't be here today if not for an anonymous good Samaritan.
"The paramedics said that they believe that was the last biker on the trail that night. And if they would not have found him, the situation would have been completely different," Churchill said Sunday.
Now, the family would like to find that stranger and express their gratitude.
"We just really want to find the person and thank them. Even if they don't want to come forward, we want to tell them they are my family's hero," Rodriquez said.
Jacob Churchill was on his longboard, going home from a friend's house on the pedestrian trail along the Mountain View Corridor near 7800 South about 8:30 p.m. Friday when doctors say he likely suffered a seizure. It was dark and raining at that time, his family said.
A biker came by the path a short time later and saw Jacob lying on the ground next to his board. Jacob was still having a seizure when the biker found him, according to his sisters. He was unresponsive and not breathing, they said.
When paramedics got Jacob to Jordan Valley Hospital, he was in a coma and had bleeding from his brain, his sisters said. He was then flown to Primary Children's Hospital.
Because of the low levels of oxygen his body was receiving before paramedics arrived, "they thought he was really going to be brain-dead," Briana Churchill said.
We just really want to find the person and thank them. Even if they don't want to come forward, we want to tell them they are my family's hero.
Today, the sisters said their brother was "doing a lot better than expected." He can sit up and talk, but he also tires quickly and takes a lot of naps. Jacob remembers longboarding home but nothing else until he woke up in the hospital bed, they said.
When his sisters first arrived at the hospital, Jacob was still unresponsive, the said. He first came out of his coma while both sisters were attempting to talk to him at the same time.
"His first word was, 'What?'" the sisters said, noting with a smile that the doctors asked them how they did it.
Jacob has 10 siblings. His sisters said when he was about 5-years old, he fell down a set of stairs and suffered a front lobe injury. Doctors told the family that injury would make him susceptible to seizures, though he had never had one until Friday.
Doctors said they are worried about Jacob's memory and cognitive skills as he recovers, according to his sisters. But he is as anxious as everyone else to find the person who found him to thank them.
A GoFundMe page* was created to help offset Jacob's medical expenses.
Contributing: Sandra Yi
*KSL.com does not assure that the monies deposited to the account will be applied for the benefit of the persons named as beneficiaries. If you are considering a deposit to the account, you should consult your own advisors and otherwise proceed at your own risk.