Pay It Forward: Teen in lawn mower accident wants to play football again
SAN TAN VALLEY, AZ (CBS5) -
Dustin Cote, 14, was cutting the grass at his San Tan Valley home this summer when he noticed a wheel was riding high.
With the mower still running, Dustin's left hand slipped underneath, slicing off his pinkie, ring and middle fingers.
"It really wasn't that bad of a pain it just really burned, it felt like it was on fire," Dustin said.
No one was home at the time so Dustin jumped over his backyard wall and asked a neighbor to call 911.
Doctors did manage to re-attach his middle finger, but the other two were gone for good.
"It hurt me that night when I saw him in the hospital before they took him into surgery and then after surgery when I found out what he doesn't have. It just hurt me bad," said Bruce Cote, Dustin's dad.
Coincidentally, Bruce knows exactly what Dustin is going through. In 1985, he lost all his left fingers in a lumberyard accident.
"I own my own business, I do a lot more with both my hands here missing five fingers than a normal person with 10 fingers can do," Bruce said.
Now we know from where Dustin gets his positive attitude.
"Things happen for a reason. I don't know if this happened for a reason but I guess I'll have to find out," Dustin said.
The one thing Dustin is most anxious to find out is whether or not he can still play his favorite sport.
"The whole time I was thinking about football," he said.
"It was kind of sad to see him not be able to play football this year, because I know how much he loves it and he always gives more than 100 percent effort," said Damian Artalejo, who played football with Dustin last year at Mountain Vista Middle School.
Damian wanted to help Dustin get the physical therapy he needs to get back on the field, so he nominated Dustin for CBS 5's "Pay It Forward."
Dustin was shocked when we showed up at his home with the $500 reward.
"Wow! Thank you so much," Dustin told his friend.
Maybe some day, Dustin will point to that very moment. That's when he learned what picking up a teammate is all about.
Wednesday, May 22 2013 2:29 PM EDT2013-05-22 18:29:48 GMT
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