Man credits God for rescue after falling from deer stand

ORANGEBURG COUNTY, SC (WIS) - What some might call good luck, Stuart Antley calls divine intervention. Four weeks ago, Stuart fell more than 20 feet from an Orangeburg County deer stand.

"We're not promised tomorrow; everybody says that, but until you have something like this happen to you, you don't take it to heart," said Stuart.

These days, Stuart is living and walking differently. He's had a month to think back on the afternoon when a climb up a deer stand -- something he's done since he was 4 years old -- went wrong.

When his restraints snapped, Stuart plummeted from the stand. A first responder at work, he knew he was in bad shape as soon as he hit the ground.

"I could feel it break, I heard it break and all of a sudden this warm sensation entered my pelvis, I knew it was blood," said Stuart.

Stuart's pelvis was broken in five places. Panic set in due to the fact he was deep in the woods without a cell phone.

"A lot of thoughts run through your mind: your family, what situation it would leave them in, I don't even like to think about it now," said Stuart.

But Stuart didn't spend a lot of time dwelling on it. Instead, he started crawling and praying. In 9 hours, long into the night, he dragged himself nearly 300 yards. That's nearly three football fields.

"At one of those times in between dragging I said, "Lord wake our child up, and wake her mom up so someone would know I'm missing,'" said Stuart.

It was a prayer that was apparently answered. Courtney Antley woke up in the middle of the night to a crying child.

"The baby happened to wake up at a quarter after 1 and I rolled over to look at Stuart and he wasn't in the bed, so I panicked immediately because he's not one to stay out late," said Courtney. "I didn't want to think of what we'd do without him. I mean, I know we'd have people to take care of us, but it wouldn't be the same."

Courtney wasted no time calling Stuart's dad and cousin who happened to be the only people who had an idea where Stuart was hunting.

Before long, Stuart's prayers were again answered -- this time by the familiar sound of his dad's truck.

"I'm just so thankful, I can't even describe to you how thankful I am," said Stuart.

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