Photo by George Lauby
From left, Mayor Dwight Livingston, Assistant Fire Chief Trent Kleinow, Angel Martyzenko holding daughter Jazzilyn, and Jeff Van Cura. (tap on image to enlarge)
City officials honored a six-year-old girl Tuesday for bravery and helpfulness to her badly injured, bleeding grandfather.Before the city council meeting, Mayor Dwight Livingston presented Jazzilyn Martyszenko with a certificate of excellence on behalf of the city's fire and rescue department. Several members of the fire and rescue department were on hand.
Around 2 p.m. on May 12, Jeff Van Cura and his granddaughter Jazzilyn were at Van Cura’s home in North Platte, planning to go to Cody Park for ice cream.
Van Cura was in the garage. He wanted to sharpen a point on a wooden stake before they left. He was using a miter saw and one of his arms was in a sling as he recovered from shoulder replacement surgery.
The saw blade caught the stake and threw it at him, completely penetrating his forearm. Badly wounded, Van Cura called out to his granddaughter, who was in the adjoining house.
Jazzilyn came running. When she saw the blood running from her grandfather’s arm, she started running around in a panic, until Jeff told her to stop. She did. Van Cura told her to get the phone so he could call 911, and to help him wrap his arm. She did, Van Cura said.
They wrapped the arm in paper towels and a blanket, and Van Cura lay in the driveway atop his arm, so the pressure would repress the bleeding until the ambulance arrived.
Muscles and tendons in his forearm were severed.
He said by the time the ambulance arrived, the bleeding had stopped. And fortunately, a hand surgeon was on duty at the hospital. He was spending a week a Great Plains Health from his home base in Florida.
Five weeks later, Van Cura’s arm is still wrapped in bandages, with a therapeutic apparatus to help it heal. He will wear it for another month, maybe longer, he said.
Mayor Livingston presented a certificate of excellence to Jazzilyn Tuesday night. Assistant Fire Chief Trent Kleinow read the statement, noting Jazzilyn's "vital role in caring for her grandfather while awaiting arrival of an ambulance and transporting him to the hospital for surgical care."
The audience stood and applauded.
Van Cura told the Bulletin he was careless and he is deeply grateful to his granddaughter.
“I was bleeding badly,” Van Cura said. “I have no doubt that she saved my life.”
In other action, the council approved warrant payments of $57,000 to Western Engineering of North Platte for street improvements, including partial payment of the Willow St. overlay; and, a $12,100 payment to the Nebraska Department of Roads for for the city's part of the reconstruction of U.S. Highway 83 / Jeffers St. between First and Sixth streets.