Teen critically injured during Halloween 'pumpkin chucking' event

A 16-year-old Georgia boy was critically injured during a "pumpkin chucking" event at a Hall County church on Halloween.

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WSB-TV's Tyisha Fernandes was at the Corner Stone Assembly of God Church in Gainesville, where the teen was hurt.

Family members identified the teen as Jacob Stevens. He was attending a youth group event called "Trunks of Treats" at the family church when the accident happened.

Stevens was using a pumpkin launcher when the device backfired and hit him in the chest, stopping his heart. He was rushed to the hospital in critical condition.

Fernandes talked to the Stevens family outside a Gainesville hospital Friday. Michael Stevens, Jacob's father, said they are hoping that Jacob will pull through.

"(We are) getting a response out of him," Stevens said. "He gave us a thumbs-up, and we know things are going to be fine."

Dozens of kids were using the pumpkin launcher, which resembles a slingshot, at the Gainesville church on Wednesday.

Somehow, when Jacob was launching his pumpkin, the device fired backward.

One of his youth leaders leaped into action and performed CPR as they waited for an ambulance to arrive.

Jacob's brother, Trevor, said that's what saved the teen's life.

"Preston Fowler, the guy that initially started doing CPR on him, you know, if it wasn’t for him, my brother wouldn’t be here right now," he said.

Michael Stevens said his son is making progress and knows his family is by his side.

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"He looked at us and tried to raise up and they told him, 'Just stay still,'" Michael Stevens said. "I got him by the hand and said, 'This was a freak accident. You didn’t do anything wrong. No one did anything wrong.' And I just told him I loved him and to just concentrate on getting better."

Michael Stevens said being at the hospital brings back bad memories of another medical scare they had with their older son, a leukemia survivor.

"His brother went through a battle with leukemia when he was little, so this brought back a lot of memories seeing him in there like that," Michael Stevens said.

The family has set up a GoFundMe account to help with Jacob's medical expenses.

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