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'Guardian angels:' Arkansas school faculty, staff save motorcyclist's life

It was a collective effort by three workers with Cabot School District, after the group helped save the life of a local motorcyclist that got into an accident.

CABOT, Ark. — For Cabot Learning Academy nurse Lexi Gibbs, accepting a job with the city's school district was supposed to be a chance for a quieter career.

"I came from a critical care unit, and you know, when COVID, the reason I came to school nursing was because I just needed a break," Gibbs said.

That change in work happened just over a month ago back in April. 

Just a short time into her new gig, Gibbs already had to use those skills she learned even before the first bell even rang.

"It was about 7:45 a.m. I'm on bus duty at Champs Hall, which runs parallel with the road that the accident happened on," Tim Harrison, high school Assistant Principal said.

Gibbs was on her way to work last Thursday morning when a motorcyclist passed her up and hit a vehicle ahead of her.

From her own car, she said she could hear the screams of the driver of the vehicle that had just got hit. Once Gibbs got out, she saw a man lying on the pavement, not moving.

"I noticed, like I seen his arm or whatever flop on the ground," Gibbs said. "I was like, hmm that's not good."

Gibbs was there first, followed by Harrison, and finally another assistant principal, Mike Falcinelli. 

"As soon as I hit the road, I saw how serious it was because I saw Lexi giving compressions," Falcinelli said.

The trio was able to keep that motorcyclist, Samuel McCool, steady before medics got there. Gibbs said in the moment, she was scared – at one point, she couldn't feel a pulse.

While everything worked out in the end, that day still hasn't left their minds.

"I say a prayer for him everyday, you know?" Gibbs said.

It hasn't left McCool's either.

They say never meet your heroes, but McCool would disagree.

He met the three that he calls his guardian angels for the first time on Wednesday, just feet from where he was unconscious roughly a week ago.

"That means a lot to me," he said. "They jumped out there and done what they done to bring me back, that means a lot."

McCool said he doesn't remember anything of that day – just leaving his girlfriend's house and then waking up in the hospital hours later.

The physical memories are still there, though. Spray paint on the road where his body laid, and the scars that will last a lifetime.

"Slow down. Take life one day at a time. Love your family,"  McCool said.

But it's a lifetime he's grateful to have.

"I love all you guys," McCool said, hugging each of his guardian angels. "I swear to God I do, I'm glad y'all were there."

McCool said he has brain swelling and is still sore, but he's on the road to recovery. For Gibbs, she's glad that this story has a happy ending.

"Coming from where I came, you don't really ever see people get better," she said. "So it's been, it'll be kind of like a fresh breath of air."

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