BY BEVERLY MCCLELLAN | PHOTOS BY ELIZABETH HART HARVILL
November 19, 2017, was a beautiful fall
This Vidalia family asked the community to “Pray Big” after an
accident almost took the life of their child, and the results were
day. The sun was shining, and all was
right with the Harvill world. Jason
and Elizabeth Harvill and their three children
– Aiden (11), Jocelyn (7), and Landon (5) –
had just returned from a camping trip with
extended family members. “We had had such a
great time. Everyone was having a great time.
We talked and laughed, and the kids were
fishing. It was just fun,” Elizabeth said. The
kids were out of school for Thanksgiving break,
and their biggest worry was who was going to
bake the turkey.
Then life changed in an instant. Forever.
Landon had gone to a friend’s house that
afternoon to play. He jumped on a fourwheeler,
not realizing how powerful it was. He
thought the machine was like his own Power
Wheels, so he had no worries. But the fourwheeler
took off with Landon hanging on for
dear life. An adult saw that the little boy was in
trouble and began to run after him. But in an
instant, Landon lost control of the vehicle and
was flung off into a tree, hitting both his head
When the Harvills received the phone
call, they wasted no time in getting to their
son, who was en route to Meadows Regional
Medical Center. “I literally jumped up and ran
out of the house without shoes,” Elizabeth
revealed. “I kept thinking,’It’s going to be
okay. Kids have little accidents all the time.’ I
was not prepared for what I was about to see.
It was something no parent could ever prepare
36 Toombs County Magazine
The frantic parents rushed to meet their
young son at the hospital. As doctors assessed
his condition, the Harvills stood by. “We heard
words like ‘fractured skull’ and ‘collapsed
lung,’” Elizabeth shared.
At that point he had had so much trauma
to his chest, along with air from the collapsed
lung, that his heart had too much pressure to
beat. As the Harvills watched in shock, Landon
flat-lined. For five long, agonizing minutes,
the parents stood helpless as doctors tried to
revive him. “They inserted a chest tube and
pounded on his little chest and pushed air
into his body until life was breathed back into
him,” Elizabeth remembered. At that point,
the decision was made to air lift the seriouslyinjured
child to the trauma unit at Memorial
Hospital in Savannah.
As doctors worked to stabilize Landon so
he would survive the trip, Elizabeth rushed
home where she met her uncle, Jones Hart,
and her brother, Bee Hart, who would be
taking care of Aiden and Jocelyn for the
duration of Landon’s hospital stay.
Elizabeth and Jason were not allowed to
ride in the helicopter with Landon and had
to make the 90 minute trip by themselves.
“That is the longest drive when your child
has been put into a helicopter, and there is no
communication,” Elizabeth said. In their haste
to get to Savannah, they left just as they were:
Elizabeth was still barefooted while Jason had
on his bedroom slippers.
Elizabeth’s first text to friends was very
brief: “Pray,” she wrote. “Unspoken. God