FRANKLIN, Tenn. (WKRN) – A two-year-old boy, the grandson of former Major League Baseball player, Howard Johnson, is recovering at Vanderbilt’s Monroe Carroll Children’s Hospital after a tragic lawnmower accident.
“I just couldn’t believe it happened to us we are devastated,” Johnson said.
Johnson’s son, Glen, was getting ready to mow the lawn last Tuesday night at their home in Franklin. As he was backing the tractor out of the garage, he heard a thump. When he looked down, he saw his son Tanner underneath.
“I called him for another matter and I texted him ten minutes prior and I said hey I’m gonna call you in a few minutes give me a shout,” Johnson said.
Minutes later, he heard screams on the other side of the phone. The boy’s parents rushed him to the hospital.
Tanner lost all of his toes and part of his left foot in the accident. He has had three surgeries so far with more to come. Tanner is in a boot learning to use a walker in his hospital room.
“The doctors are confident that they can do a lot for him,” Johnson said. “That will put him in position to be normal again and that’s what we are praying for.”
It’s difficult for Tanner to fully understand what happened, but the spirited little boy is still smiling.
“He’s making friends with all the nurses and the people who see him,” said Johnson. “It just lights him up and he’s a great kid with a great heart.”
Tanner could be released from the hospital before having to go back for another round of surgery.
“We are hopeful we don’t have any more setbacks,” Johnson said. “He’s a baseball player like me and his dad, that’s what he wants to do.”
Johnson has been posting updates to his 13,000 followers on Twitter. The family has created a GoFundMe page to help with ongoing medical expenses. So far, more than $100,000 has been donated by the community and baseball fans all the way from New York. You can help by clicking HERE.