NEW VINEYARD, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- The people of New Vineyard and surrounding areas are making sure one of their own will never go without after news of a freak accident rocked the community in October.
Sam Kennedy was outside his home with his 4-year-old grandson, Adam Mattson, doing yard work when the unthinkable happened.
"Just something you don't keep talking about because I'll just start crying," Kennedy said, who is Adam's legal guardian.
Police say Adam was playing in the family's gravel pit, near a front-end loader. The bucket was down, but not leveled when it gave way, landing on Adam and severing his leg.
"He was playing in the sand, and next thing I know, he hollered to me, and I said, 'Oh my God, his legs are under that bucket.'"
Kennedy immediately rushed him to the hospital. Adam was later Life Flighted to Boston Children's Hospital, where he remains in recovery. Police say Kennedy's immediate actions saved his life.
"He's my little buddy," he said through tears. "I don't wish this upon anyone. He's like a shadow to me."
Adam is undoubtedly the love and light of his family with a smile that's hard to deny.
"He's just a pleasant little boy. We take him to all the fairs. He loves all the monster truck shows, the demolition derby."
Fellow Mainers have been doing their part to help the family with whatever they need. Volunteers with an outreach program are building a ramp at Adam's house with donated materials. Collection jars are out in nearby Farmington. Money is collected every Sunday mass at Fairbanks Union Church. Neighbors are dropping by, checking in for whatever needs doing.
Kennedy says Adam's had at least six surgeries. He'll be spending the holidays in the hospital before he gets to come home to start his new life.
Sadly, it's a journey Kennedy knows all too well.
"I lost my leg when I was a child too. My father lugged me from way over on the other side of the field, and he got hurt over on this side. How ironic that it happened on the same farm. It's unreal."
44 years and two generations separate the two. But the shared trauma is something they will go through together.
"He has me to look forward to," Kennedy said. "I can tell him things that I've experienced and it ain't gonna be someone saying, 'I think I know.' Because I know."
A GoFundMe page for the family has already raised more than $6,000. If you'd like to donate, click here.
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