Man in Critical Condition Following Tree Cutting Accident

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A man who was hurt on the job and is in critical condition in the hospital is now also the victim of a burglary.

Ricky Johnson works for his dad's tree service in Gallia County, Ohio.

Friday he and a co-worker were cutting limbs from a tree near Jericho Road in Point Pleasant.

They were lowering one of the limbs when it fell and hit 36-year-old Johnson in the head.

"He's done this for 18 years,” Johnson’s mother Peggy Johnson said. “It's not like it's new to him. It was just a freak accident."

Johnson was taken to a hospital in Point Pleasant and then flown to St. Mary’s in Huntington, where he remains in critical condition.

The family says Johnson underwent surgery Friday and later had a CT scan that showed the injury caused him to suffer a stroke.

"I don't know what I'd do without him,” Peggy said. "They called him Ricky ‘Smiley’ Johnson. That's the kind of guy he is."

Johnson has a wife and three kids. His oldest, 15-year-old Troy, is being forced to grow up quickly.

"He always wanted me to be the man,” Troy said. “I know that's what he wanted so that's what I want to do, be the man of the house now and take care of my mom and my grandma."

Troy went to their home in Kanauga in Gallia County Monday and discovered someone had broken in and stolen several items, including a computer and iPhone.

The family says they don’t want to dignify the criminal's behavior by acknowledging the break-in.

"We don't care,” Peggy said. “It’s material things. They could have stolen his whole house. We don't care. We just want to worry about him."

They're praying for a miracle, but Troy is also praying for strength if that miracle doesn't come.

"I know God could do that. He could wake my dad up if he wanted to,” Troy said. “He might not want to. He might want to take him to Heaven now. I know God's going to do what's best."

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