Jane Moody thought it was a bad Tuesday night when her 19-year-old son broke his arm and his leg in a WCHS rugby game at Nunley Stadium.
Then it got worse.
Minutes later, Moody received a frantic phone call saying her 24-year-old son was being airlifted after plunging down a cliff at Rock Island State Park. Among his many injuries, he also suffered a broken leg.
“They broke their legs 18 minutes apart,” said Moody. “I had barely gotten a chance to sit down at River Park with Stephen when I got the call about Jake. I couldn’t believe it.”
Jake Moody was the hiker injured Tuesday night at Rock Island State Park. The accident took place as Jake was heading down a steep hill and decided to grab a tree branch for support.
But instead of providing support, the branch was rotten and broke. Jake continued forward and went over the side of a 25-foot cliff almost in a dive. His mother said he managed to contort his body before hitting the ground and landed on his back on a bed of rocks.
Jake was transported by boat to an ambulance and then to a helicopter which made its landing next to the Midway ballfield. He suffered numerous injuries, according to his mother.
“He has two broken shoulder blades, a fractured neck and back, multiple broken ribs, a punctured lung, a broken leg, a shattered hip and a bruised pancreas,” said Jane. “Those are just the ones I can remember.”
Jane said Jake was airlifted to Erlanger Medical Center in Chattanooga. He left the intensive care unit and was moved to a private room Friday morning.
While emergency responders were making their way to the scene to rescue Jake, his brother Stephen was playing rugby for the Pioneers. Jane said he was on the wrong end of an especially brutal tackle and suffered a broken arm and broken leg.
Jane said Stephen is a bright student who is scheduled to participate in two graduation ceremonies this month.
“He’ll graduate from Motlow this Monday in a wheelchair,” said Jane. “And he’ll graduate from high school on May 24. All of his friends have been real supportive. A bunch of them have come by to see him and some of them brought pizza and soda.”
Jane said Jake loves the outdoors and is a regular visitor to Rock Island State Park. She said due to his numerous injuries, she expects a long road to recovery.
In addition to breaking their legs just minutes apart, Jane said the boys share the same birthday, April 19, although they were born five years apart.