Port Ludlow man pinned by mower saved by 12-year-old girl




Posted on May 9, 2014 at 7:07 PM

John Buchan is still working on his recovery, but doctors say this seasoned sailboat skipper could be in for his best comeback ever.

Almost three weeks ago, the 73-year-old was cutting the grass along the water at his Port Ludlow home when his massive mower overturned.

"The mistake I made was getting too close to the edge of the rockery and when the wheel hit that slick grass it just went out like anything,” he said.

Buchan went down a five-foot ledge and ended up on the beach pinned under the huge machine.

"I grabbed my lower body and I couldn't feel anything there was no feeling from my waist down, none,” he said.

For two hours he struggled to free himself and watched as the tide started rolling in.

"I kind of accepted it that's the way it goes, I spend my whole life boating and I end up drowning in a lawnmower in my front yard,” said Buchan.

Just as he was losing hope, 12-year-old Clara Johnson Noble happened along the remote stretch of the beach

“I kind of saw arms waving and legs sticking out from behind it and there was yelling,” she said.

She ran for help and Buchan was taken to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, where doctors were able to repair his broken neck.

“He had an injury that was extremely serious and the circumstances were dire, “ said Dr. Randal Chesnut, neurosurgeon.

“It’s just a miracle that she found me,” said Buchan.

Buchan and Noble didn't know each other but once he's recovered Buchan hopes to say thank you in person.

"I feel honored but I’m really glad he's okay and he's going to make it,” said Noble.

Doctors say it may take a while before he's back in the race, but Buchan says next time he will hit the water with a new perspective

“A lot different outlook on life, life's pretty precious when you almost lost it,” he said.