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Nine-Year-Old Boy Rescues Pap

August 9, 2017
BY LAUREN MATTHEWS - Editor ( , Wetzel Chronicle

Tresa Rine, of Reader, W.Va., said her grandson, nine-year-old Holden Rine, has learned plenty of life lessons from both of his grandpas, which include his "Big Pappy" and his "Pappy Buck." Yet, little did Holden's family know, these lessons would come in handy on Tuesday, July 25.

That day, Holden saved Pap Buck's life.

Holden's family was at a relative's birthday party at an Oil Ridge, Sistersville, W.Va. residence when Holden's grandpa, Buck Rine, needed to fetch a ladder from his treestand.

Article Photos

Photo by Lauren Matthews
Buck Rine sits with his grandson Holden Rine, who rescued Buck after he fell out of his tree stand.

"We just went to ride down to the woods to the tree stand, to get my ladder, and it ended up being a lot more than that," Buck explained in an interview on Thursday, Aug. 3.

"Luckily, Holden went with me. He kind of insisted he go with me. I'm glad he did," Buck said. While retrieving the ladder, Buck started falling.

"I could hear Holden squealing as I was falling." Buck fell 20 feet from his tree stand.

"I hit and bounced to my knees," Buck said. "By the time I bounced to my knees, Holden was standing right beside me... I just kind of fell over."

Nine-year-old Holden asked his pap two questions:

"The first thing he asked me was, 'Pap, where is your phone?' I didn't have it. I explained it was in my truck. He asked me if I wanted help, and I told him, 'Yes, I think my back is broke.'"

Holden had patted his pap's pockets, to make sure Buck didn't have his phone. He then got on Buck's four-wheeler and rode 600 yards out of the woods, and another half-mile to the site of the birthday party.

"He kept it together. He knew what he needed to do. It was like he was on a mission," Tresa said, describing Holden's demeanor when he arrived at the house and delivered the news concerning Buck.

Holden informed family members that his pap was hurt. A few members of the family rushed to the tree stand and called for emergency responders. Prior to the family leaving for the tree stand, Holden even remembered to warn of a large log crossing the pathway, advising the family would need to take a different route.

While help was arriving, Buck said he laid on the ground and wondered if he would ever see his grandson again. He explained that, recently, he had already lost two family members. Buck wondered if he would be the third.

Yet, "I never doubted for one second that Holden wouldn't be able to make it back to the house."

Tresa said Holden stayed out of the woods and at the house while the family went to check on Buck. However, soon worry about his pap set in. Holden remembered his pap saying that he had left his phone in his truck. Holden retrieved his pap's phone and then called his dad, who had gone with the others to check on Buck.

As for the emergency response, Tresa noted, "The ambulance was super quick to be there, and everything went smoothly." "Everyone involved was just wonderful," Buck agreed.

"It wasn't an easy place for anyone to get to, and when emergency response came, they had everything they needed. They worked quickly and everything." The family wants to thank Sistersville and Middlebourne EMS, and Sistersville Fire Department for their "quick and efficient response."

The family also wants to thank their wonderful family and friends for their support, noting "We had so many people helping us that night."

From Sistersville, Buck was flown by helicopter to Ruby Memorial Hospital. "They didn't know what kind of internal injuries I had. I think everything inside is bruised; everything is sore," Buck explained.

At Ruby, it was discovered that Buck had two burst vertebrae and multiple other vertebrae fractures. He also has fractured ribs, and he had a pneumothorax. He stayed in Ruby for seven days.

Holden did get the chance to visit his pap at Ruby. When asked what he first said to his grandson, when Holden visited, Buck noted "I was probably groggy, but I think I said 'Thanks.'"

"He's a brave fellow, a brave guy," Buck said.

Tresa agreed, noting that some kids might have not known how to respond.

Holden is humble and quiet about saving his pap's life, just agreeing that he did what he had to do.

Tresa and Buck noted that Holden probably traveled 3/4 of a mile, across some rough terrain, to get help for his pap.

"There were a few places I probably wouldn't have taken a bike up over," Tresa said, noting that Buck's four-wheeler is a larger, adult-size bike. Holden has been riding a four-wheeler since the age of three. Tresa said "he likes the woods, and he definitely loves the mud."

Meanwhile, Buck's recovery is progressing, and Tresa said her grandson has been a good help, "helping his pap get things." "They are good friends," she said of Buck and Holden. "They are good buddies."



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