Woodlake’s 2014 award recipients were guests of honor at a dinner banquet, held Friday, March 6, organized by Kiwanis of Woodlake. See the photos above for all of the award winners, but read on for a poignant story of how one of the honorees went above and beyond to save the life of a young teen:
Talk about being in the right place at the right time. That’s the only explanation Mark Wood could offer for the miraculous events of May 20, 2014. Mark was honored Friday, March 6, as Woodlake’s Hero of the Year for saving the life of Emily Albright, 15, of Elderwood.
Mark, who works as a cattle breeder, just happened to be off work that eventful day and was headed home on a private road in Elderwood. Along the way, he encountered his wife, Susi, who was frantic and on the way to use a neighbor’s phone to call 911 (there is no cell phone service in the area).
Susi told Mark that a serious accident had occurred just up the road. When Mark arrived on the accident scene, he saw a Jeep turned on its side, the shocked and injured driver seated nearby, and Emily pinned beneath the vehicle.
Mark discovered that Emily had no pulse. He performed CPR, then attached a chain from his truck and pulled the Jeep off the young teen.
He administered additional CPR that he had learned as a youth when he worked as a lifeguard. Between each series of compressions, he attempted to breathe life back into Emily.
A law-enforcement officer arrived and told Mark an ambulance was on the way. Mark advised that Emily should instead be airlifted to the nearest trauma center. The officer agreed and radioed for a helicopter.
Soon after, Emily was being strapped in and airlifted to a Fresno hospital. She was in a coma and, upon arrival, underwent the first of several reconstructive surgeries.
Emily has been told that she can’t ride her horse for a year, but she has almost fully recovered.
So it goes without saying that the emotional highlight of this year’s Woodlake Awards Night was when Mark joined Emily and her younger sister on stage. The two girls embraced their heroic neighbor in a tearful hug of appreciation.