Hero Is the One Who Needs Help Now
Posted February 13, 2007 6:02 p.m. EST
Updated February 13, 2007 6:17 p.m. EST
Ted Smith was hit and seriously injured by a falling tree Feb. 4. He's still in WakeMed and not yet breathing on his own. It’s a terrible twist of fate for the man credited with saving a woman's life just a few years ago.
In 2004, Beverly Lockhardt’s car skidded off an icy road in Raleigh. It landed in a creek and began filling with water. Smith saw it, jumped in and saved the woman.
Three years later, he needs some help.
Smith was using his professional experience as a tree-trimmer, helping a neighbor remove trees from his yard. A strong breeze sent one tree crashing down.
“It was just a freak accident. The tree hit him on the way down,” Smith’s wife, Kim, said Tuesday.
Smith has been in intensive care for nearly 10 days with serious internal injuries, including broken bones. He's breathing through a ventilator.
“The prognosis is he probably won't walk again,” Kim Smith said.
Neighbor Beth Koziara decided it was high time to get some help for a hero.
“He's going to be in the hospital for months. There is going to be a lot of expense, and I just wanted to help the family,” Koziara said. She started a fund for her neighbor, Ted.
Now, other neighbors and even strangers are pitching in.
“It is absolutely amazing! We are quiet kind of people, home bodies—and you just don't know how many friends you have, and the network of friends you have, until something like this happens,” Kim Smith said.
When Ted Smith helped Lockhardt out of her sinking car in 2004, she called him a hero. He disagreed.
“Nobody else was there. You got to do it. I just hope somebody would do it for me,” Ted Smith said at the time.
“He just never knew at that time that he might need help someday,” his wife said.
His family and friends say they'll do whatever they can for the man who is always there for someone else. Neighbors say some businesses have already donated medical equipment for the family.
To help the Smith family, you can make a donation to the “Ted Smith Family Fund” at any First Citizen’s Bank in North Carolina or send a donation to:
“Ted Smith Family Fund”
Clayton, NC 27528