Roanoke, VA - The mother of a teen who needed open heart surgery following a car wreck says the boy's strong heart, from years of swimming, may have helped him pull through.
Lisa McCauley said, in a phone interview, that doctors at Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital gave that assessment as 17 year Connor McCauley recovered recovered in the intensive care unit..
McCauley also said that shortly after finishing swimming practice for the Sea Lion Swim Club, Connor made a split second decision that likely saved several lives... including that of his kid sister, Drew.
She said the young man took the brunt of the wreck... by turning just enough to spare his sister and perhaps others --- taking the steering wheel straight to the chest.
As President and CEO of the YMCA of Roanoke Valley, Mark Johnson knows the family well. Not only did he coach Connor's sister, Drew, in softball but he has watched both rise through the ranks of the YMCA sponsored Sea Lions Swim Club.
"Initially we were praying. The word went around pretty fast about what had happened and so we just wanted everyone to be ok," said Johnson
Johnson said the Sea Lion family now will focus on something other than swimming as they hope to comfort the McCauley family with cards, well wishes and prayers.
"The Y is a community and the Sea Lions are a real tight community; all the kids, the families... everybody so we just want to support them in any way we can and bless the McCauley's anyway that we can."
The driver of the SUV that State Police said hit the McCauley's was driven by 39 year old Kenneth Craft of Roanoke. Craft was partially ejected during the wreck and was also airlifted to the hospital.
A Carilion spokesman is unable to give any word on Craft's condition.
No charges have been filed as the investigation continues.