Dan Smoker Sr. received assistance from Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey following an estimated 20-foot fall during a hike in Colorado in March. In the process, he officially became a member of the Panthers family.
The 72-year-old Smoker was recently released from the hospital, and upon discharge, the Panthers sent him a gift basket to let him know he remains in their thoughts:
According to Panthers.com's Max Henson, Smoker suffered a lengthy list of injuries: a broken femur, a broken pelvis, internal bleeding, bleeding on the brain, nine fractured ribs and a broken neck.
McCaffrey, his brothers and some friends were headed to lunch but decided instead to hike Castle Rock, where they witnessed Smoker's terrifying accident.
"It felt like he was in the air for 10 seconds," McCaffrey said, via Henson. "I had never seen anything quite like that in my life as far as the trauma and the sound. We were in shock."
The 21-year-old running back and his group leaped into action. McCaffrey called 911; TMZ Sports later obtained and shared the audio of the call:
McCaffrey applauded the emergency response team, noting that help arrived within 11 minutes of the call.
Dan Smoker @dsmokexu
Michael Mann, @run__cmc and @notoriousmax25 are great football players, but even better humans. Yesterday, they helped save my dads life after he fell off of Castle Rock. They comforted my son when he was alone. Then showed up at the hospital to check in. @AdamSchefter @espn https://t.co/MVAdbr2gYV
"I credit them with saving my dad's life," Smoker's son, Dan, said of McCaffrey's group.
McCaffrey and the Smoker family will soon reunite, as the family has been invited to a Panthers game next season.