HAVELOCK, CRAVEN COUNTY - Dozens of people united at Havelock High School in Craven Country, to celebrate Glenn Poole Jr. The senior barely survived a near drowning at Fort Macon. On Saturday his family re-united with the Atlantic Beach Fire Department's first responders who saved his life.
"I still get emotional just thinking about it at home," said Poole's mother Denise. "I'll be watching TV, you can't grasp the whole thing."
"This is why we do the job," said Chief Adam Snyder. "It's a great feeling for us to know that we made a difference to someone's life and continues to live a full life."
The three hour celebration also featured a race, corn hole tournaments, and raffles. All events helped with raising money for the Poole's $25,000 medical bill.
"It's very humbling to be here and to have the out pour from the community, said Poole's father Glenn Sr. "You don't know who your friends are or how many you have until something happens."
"It means everything, "said Denise. "Court's always been shy and quiet, to have everybody out like this it's just a real surprise. I'm just thankful for it."
"I thought I fell asleep or something like to was a dream," said Glenn Poole Jr. as he talks about when he first woke up in Vidant Medical Hospital. He nearly drowned at Ft. Macon Beach. He doesn't remember much about what happened, or how close he was to dying, but his father says it's something he'll never forget.
"They has 18 machines running stuff into him for the first two and a half weeks. One doctor gave him a ten percent chance of living. Another gave him 50/50. That about killed us," said Glenn Poole Sr.
Glenn's family calls him by the nickname "Quirt" which comes from a character John Wayne played in the 1947 movie Angel and the Badman. It takes a tough cowboy to spend 12 weeks in the hospital having to learn basic tasks all over again.
"I get frustrated when I can't out something exactly where I want to put," said Poole Jr.
Glenn is going through rehabilitation and keeping up with his school work. A teacher from Havelock High School takes him his assignments. While plans are in place at HHS to help the Poole family with expenses.
"They don't have to but they do just because I am here," said Poole Jr.
As a way to help the family with their expenses Havelock High school designated a celebration for Glenn Poole Jr.
"He's just one of our own. He's lived here pretty much his whole life," said Jeffrey Murphy, principal of Havelock High School.
All money raised from Saturdays Celebration will go directly to the Poole family. This young man of few words will have hundreds of people awaiting his return to high school.
"I hope he can get back as soon as he can. I would love to see him walk across that stage in June," said Principal Murphy.
"Quirt" cannot wait to get back to normal and getting back to normal means enjoying his second chance.
If you would like to attend the celebration, it will be held March 2nd, 11AM-2PM at RAMS Stadium. Adults $10/$5 school age students.