August 14th, 2015 tragedy struck at a wedding rehearsal dinner near Jamestown, New York. The groom and one of his groomsmen were riding on a four-wheeler while everyone else was enjoying the stories and laughter that often come when old friends reunite. As the four-wheeler started down a decline, the driver noticed a sharp curve at the bottom of the hill. He decided to veer off the trail and coast through some tall weeds thinking that the four-wheeler would glide safely to a full-stop.
Behind the weeds though, was a sheer 10-foot drop off into a dry creek bed. The four-wheeler barreled over the overhang and tragically, Harrison Waldron, the passenger, sustained a traumatic brain injury in the fall. Almost instantly, the wedding photographer, who was both a family friend and a veteran paramedic and fire fighter, along with many others from the wedding party were on the scene to assist. Within 45-minutes a rescue helicopter was rushing Harrison to Erie Pennsylvania, to the UPMC Hamot Trauma Center.
Within minutes of arriving, Harrison was brought into the operating room where surgeons spent the next three hours trying to save his life. The front portion of his skull was removed to relieve the pressure from the massive swelling of his brain. Although initially thought to be in a coma, Harrison would later state that he remembers being awake and hearing conversations around his hospital bed in the Trauma Center in Erie only a day or two after the accident. The Trauma Team said that they weren’t sure if he would live or die.