Hero comes in a small package

An elderly Comanche County man can call a twelve year old boy his hero.  The boy found the man barely clinging to life inside a barn in Paradise Valley.  The last time neighbors had seen 79 year old Herman Kyselka was Monday morning, and Wednesday night was when twelve year old Austin Hogg found him.  Austin was checking on him and found Kyselka lying face down inside his barn with his foot stuck in a rototiller.  He was unresponsive.

A local nurse and first responder finally noticed some signs of life and quickly rushed Kyselka to the hospital.  The nurse on the scene said Kyselka was very dehydrated after nearly three days with no food or water and says he could have died if his twelve year old friend hadn't found him.  "He's just like a grandfather to me," Austin said.

For most of his life, Austin Hogg has known neighbor Herman Kyselka as "Grandpa-K".  "I mow his yard and I help him with pretty much almost anything," said Austin.  Since Austin lives next door, he usually sees Grandpa K every day.  But, after a couple of days had gone by with no sign of him, he knew something wasn't right.

Austin says he went to check on Kyselka at his home but didn't find him there.  His dogs were running free throughout the yard - another unusual sight - and when Austin got to Grandpa K's barn, he found out why.

"He was sitting there had his foot caught up into his tiller, but it didn't look bad.  He would not talk, he just barely moved.  I said, 'stay here, I'm going to get my mom'," said Austin.  Mom called Paradise Valley Firefighters and the Chief just happened to be at the station.  The Hogg family also called a family friend, Stephanie McCracken - who happens to be a nurse.

"I was not able to see that he was breathing or anything like that.  I finally was able to find a pulse which was very weak and thready at that time," said McCracken.  After several attempts, McCracken says Kyselka finally revived a little and when they rolled him over, his vital signs improved.

They found that his foot was tangled in the tiller but he wasn't mangled - or even cut by it.  How he got stuck is still a mystery because McCracken says Kyselka wasn't even tilling at the time.  But, the bigger concern was Grandpa K's lack of water for such a long period of time.  "Most people can't live without water for three days.  I definitely say he's very lucky," McCracken said.

He was lucky for several reasons; including Austin Hogg.  Luckily, temperatures have been a little cooler and since he was in the barn, it helped keep him from overheating.  The only injuries that McCracken couldn't explain were some burns found on Kyselka's body.

"I hope you're alright.  I'm going to have to start checking on you every day," Austin told Grandpa K.  "I love you," he said.  Kyselka has told McCracken that he would like Austin to come and visit him while he's in the hospital.