Outdoor Life With Tess: Green Country Man Shares Safety Reminder After Falling From 15-Foot Tree Stand

It's been nearly three weeks since Kaleb Cartwright said he lost his footing on his tree stand platform and fell 15 feet to the ground. He said he wants to share his story, in hopes of saving someone else.

Friday, November 10th 2023, 6:52 am

A Green Country man is recovering after falling out of a tree stand while deer hunting in October.

It's been nearly three weeks since Kaleb Cartwright said he lost his footing on his tree stand platform and fell 15 feet to the ground.

"I'm just thankful to even be here," Kaleb said.

He said the last thing he remembers was watching a family of raccoons, then waking up on the ground.

He's not sure, but he thinks he might have been on the ground for more than an hour before he was able to call for help.

"I didn't really know what happened when I came to. I just knew I couldn't move. I tried to get up but couldn't. My legs wouldn't move," said Kaleb. "Took everything I had to get my phone out of my pocket."

His wife got there first, not knowing what to expect.

"I rushed out there immediately. Everything was going through my head," Torie Cartwright said.

She said he was in and out of consciousness and unable to move, so she called 911. Within minutes about 30 emergency responders were there to get Kaleb out of the woods and to a hospital.

"EMS, Drumright Fire Department and I'd like to thank them, also. I don't remember all the names, Brett Lunsford was one of them, Jamie Martin. Every one of them out there, I'd like to thank, and I'm blessed to have the whole community of Drumright behind me," said Kaleb.

He spent a week in a Tulsa hospital, including three days in the ICU.

"After plenty of CTs, MRIs and x-rays, they said he was in spinal shock. And that's just where your spine takes so much impact at once you just can't move. Your body just goes into shock," Torie said.

He still doesn't have feeling in his right leg and it's painful to walk, so he isn't able to work his construction job, which is putting a financial burden on his family of seven.

"It is pretty tough with five kids. It's tough," he said.

Still, Kaleb and his wife know how lucky they are.

"The outcome could have been a lot different. We could have been planning a funeral," Torie said.

"I've thought about that. It changed by life and my perspective of hunting," Kaleb added.

He said the accident would not have happened if he had been wearing a safety harness.

"If one thing I can preach is safety. I always open them boxes up and put my tree stand up and throw them harnesses away. I didn't think they was any good," Kaleb said.

But he feels differently now and hopes it's a lesson others will learn from too.

"That's exactly why I wanted to do the story, to pass the word on to hopefully save somebody else from doing the same thing," Kaleb said. "I would advise putting that safety harness on when you're in that tree stand because that can save your life."

Kaleb is going to have another CT scan to figure out if a pinched nerve is causing the numbness in his right leg.

In the meantime, there is an online fundraiser to help his family while he's out of work. CLICK HERE for Kaleb's online fundraiser to help in his recovery.


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