Reporting Angela Davis
ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) – A St. Paul boy whose feet were severed by a moving train last summer got a chance to thank first responders Thursday.
In August, Marshawn Robinson was playing by some tracks near his home as a moving train went by. He apparently slipped and fell, and both of his feet were severed near his ankles.
Thursday, the emergency workers who were the first to provide medical care were honored by Regions Hospital.
This was the first time since the accident that Marshawn had a chance to talk to the people who stood by him during the scariest time of his life. Officer Marshall Titus was the first to arrive on the scene.
“It was a very traumatic event. When we arrived on scene, we knew there was a young man that needed help, so you try to block the graphic content that you’re seeing and do what needs to be done,” Titus said.
Officer Titus grabbed a trauma pack out of his squad car.
“That was the first thing that popped into my head when I got out of my squad. We had just received training regarding the application of the tourniquets,” he said. “I had heard that Marshawn’s legs had been severed and I knew I had to stop that blood flow.”
The paramedics in the ambulance also received Lifesaver Awards. Just months before the train accident, the staff at Regions Hospital trained St. Paul Police officers, firefighters and paramedics on how to use tourniquets.
St. Paul Police Chief Tom Smith says trauma packs can be the difference between life and death.
“It looks small, but I gotta tell you, what is in this bag right here saves lives,” Smith said. “Whether it is stopping bleeding because of a tourniquet, gauze pad, tape – some of the basic simple things we need.”
All St. Paul Police cars and fire rigs are now equipped with trauma packs. Regions Hospital started providing them just this year.
Dr. Aaron Burnett commended staff on their fast-acting work.
“Marshawn’s case is one in which seconds mattered, and the actions of the pre-hospital team were both choreographed and flawless,” Burnett said.
Michael Bryant, the attorney for Marshawn’s family, says they are looking at taking legal action against the companies involved in the accident: Canadian Pacific Railway and Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway.
Bryant says there is a question of whether fencing laws were broken, and whether the rail companies could have done more to make the area safer for neighborhood residents.
Marshawn will eventually get prosthetics that should enable him to walk again.
His mother told WCCO that he’s back in school. On Thursday, he was described by a lot people as being “an incredibly resilient kid.”