PROVO, Utah, July 12, 2016 (Gephardt Daily) — A 7-year-old and a 9-year-old boy who were in critical condition after a tree fell on their family’s tent in a Provo campground Monday morning are “stable,” and “very happy,” their father said Tuesday.
BenJoe Markland, father of Dallin Markland, 7, and Joseph Markland, 9, wrote on Facebook Monday night:
“My good friends, thank you all for the amazing outpouring of love and prayer we have felt from all of you around the world. Friends, old and new, have come to visit, sent gifts and prayed for our children. Words can not fully express how we feel, all I can say is that your prayers have been answered as Joseph and Dallin are both in stable condition and are resting peacefully.
“They are alert and awake, and despite all of this are very happy. Joseph, ‘Iron Man’ has been a rock, encouraging his brother through the pain and reminding us to say prayers; Dallin, ‘Minecraft’ had his leg repaired with red stone, pins and Legos and he is feeling like new. We love you all and thank you for your amazing support. I am reminded of Alma 7:11-13 where we learn the Atonement of Christ is for all pain, suffering, affections, and sickness, and that Christ suffered these to give us relief in our times of need. We have felt this relief all day and know that Christ lives.”
The incident happened at Lakeside RV and Campground at about 4 a.m. Monday, said Provo Fire and Rescue spokesman Dean York. The family of six, originally from Ogden but now living in El Salvador and visiting Provo for a family reunion, was inside the tent. Dallin suffered a femur fracture, said York, Joseph suffered a lacerated liver and an orbital fracture.
Both were transported to to Utah Valley Regional Medical Center, then moved to Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City later Monday morning. They are both expected to make a full recovery.
The boys’ mother, father and 3-year-old twin brothers were inside the tent too, but were not injured.
Markland had previously posted Monday morning: “Friends. Our family was sleeping in a tent near Utah Lake when a tree fell on us at 4 a.m. Joseph and Dallin were pinned under the tree. With the help of two dozen people and prayer we freed them from the tree. We are in Primary Children’s Hospital Joseph took the full brunt of the tree but seems to be doing well he has a lacerated liver and badly damaged eye socket. Dallin has a broken femur and is in a lot of pain. But so far so good. We will keep you posted.”
York said “significant wind” was reported by some of the other campers, and branches and leaves from other trees also fell. That wind, along with the age of the tree, contributed to the accident. He said the tree is thought to have been in the willow family.
York added that officials were grateful for the rapid response of other campers, who along with emergency crews, freed Dallin. Joseph was freed by emergency crews a few minutes later, making the total time the boys were trapped less than 15 minutes.
York said the campground is a private facility and it likely owners will now assess the condition of the mature trees there to see if any of them need to be felled.