Boy Scout recovering after cave rescue

April 30, 2003|BY A SUN STAFF WRITER

A 12-year-old Sykesville Boy Scout was recovering yesterday in a Pittsburgh hospital after a seven-hour rescue from a southwestern Pennsylvania cavern, a hospital spokeswoman said.

John Graybeal was in good condition, according to the spokeswoman for Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh.

The Mountview Middle School sixth-grader said he entered Laurel Caverns in Hopwood, Pa., about 50 miles south of Pittsburgh, with his troop and a professional guide Saturday.

The troop was exploring an area called "the Beach," when John slipped and fell between rocks, said David Cale, who owns the land and buildings at Laurel Caverns. John broke his wrist and leg during the fall, his family said.

Members of his troop, including John's 14-year-old brother, Adam, and his father, Jack Graybeal, Scoutmaster for Troop 555, stayed with him while a rescue team extracted him, Cale said.

John Graybeal said he was flown to Children's Hospital, where he said he had surgery to place titanium rods in his broken femur.

"I'm a little bit stronger than I was before," he said yesterday by phone from his hospital room.

He is looking forward to the troop's next annual trip to Laurel Caverns.

"I'm going to go next year, definitely," he said. "I'm going to go back because of the adventure. It was a lot of fun."

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