Watch CBS News

First-aid training helps Chicago boy save his own life after shooting

First-aid training helps Chicago boy save his own life after shooting
First-aid training helps Chicago boy save his own life after shooting 02:16

CHICAGO (CBS) – A 14-year-old boy saved his own life after accidentally shooting himself thanks to the first aid training his football team got from a Chicago doctor last year.

Shane Butler said he was grateful to be alive, and he owes it all to the safety training he did exactly one year before being shot.

"As soon as he got out of surgery, he said, 'Mom, I remember what the Wolfpack and Dr. Pratt taught me, and I saved myself,'" said his mother, Sonja Esterling, referring to her son's football team.

Easterling cried tears of joy recalling what her son told her. She was happy he was alive to tell his story after he accidentally shot himself in the leg on Thursday when he picked up a gun at a friend's house.

"I pressed the trigger on accident, and it went off," Butler said through tears.

Butler said he grabbed some clothing and turned it into a makeshift tourniquet to stop the bleeding until police and paramedics arrived.

"If I didn't know what to do ... I would have died, but I saved myself," he said.

Chicago teen uses first aid training to save his own life after accidental shooting 01:55

Butler learned the skill when his football coach brought in Dr. Abdullah Hasan Pratt, an emergency medicine physician at the University of Chicago Medicine, to teach the team first-aid training last year. Dr. Pratt said the bullet hit a main artery in Butler's leg and if he hadn't used his training, he could have died in minutes.

"He was able to self-treat and practice everything that we had taught him just a year ago," Pratt said. "That's difficult to remember all those steps, to do it while you're in excruciating pain when you know your life is hanging in the balance."

CBS News Chicago reported on Pratt's efforts to teach students how to stop the bleeding from a gunshot wound. He's been offering the course for over a decade. Pratt said he plans to use Butler's story to show the importance of young people having first-aid training.

"This could be me over a casket of my 14-year-old son," Easterling said. "And because of what this doctor did for me and my kid. He's here and that means a lot."

Butler shared his story in hopes of helping others understand the importance of being prepared. He still has to have a few more surgeries on his road to recovery.

He one day hopes to return to play on the football field for his sophomore year.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.