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Community rallies after boy loses foot in lawn mowing accident

Published: Apr. 9, 2021 at 7:20 PM EDT|Updated: Apr. 11, 2021 at 8:48 AM EDT
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LINCOLN COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) - A little boy is recovering after a lawn mowing accident in Lincoln County. He ended up losing his foot, and his community is coming together to help support him and his family.

Thousands of hot dogs are being cooked up, and the family has set up a GoFundMe for medical bills and expenses related to the accident.

“To be honest I think I broke my hot dog record,” said Rhonda Slone with American Legion 107 in Hamlin, West Virginia.

All of their efforts were to support 2-year-old Elias Johnson’s family following the accident.

Elias’s grandfather Keith Johnson said Elias was playing outside his home in Hamlin and saw his neighbor mowing.

“The neighbor was mowing the yard, he ran down, he was going to help the guy mow his yard a little bit and just ran down behind him,” Johnson said.

Hamlin firefighters say the neighbor looked behind him and thought everything was clear, but Elias came from a blind spot and was hit by the lawnmower.

Elias was air lifted to University of Pittsburgh Children’s Hospital where his foot had to be amputated.

Hours later, the crew at the American Legion started working on the hot dogs benefit.

“I told them that they was going to need it. You know, they are both young and they are going to have to be doing a lot of running with him and stuff and a lot of work,” Johnson said.

People from all over saw the post online.

“I saw this on Facebook for Elias, and he is a relative or relatives and I am an amputee, and it just tore my heart out,” said Drema Farley, who got some of the hot dogs.

Almost 2,000 hot dogs have gone out the door for hundreds of people at $5 a box -- all to support the family.

Johnson said little Elias is recovering.

“He wanted me to start my motorcycle up, and he started it up and he smiled. He’s doing good,” Johnson said.

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