CUMBERLAND GAP, Tenn. (WATE) — A Claiborne County man is recovering after a falling tree left him badly injured early Sunday morning.

Nathaniel West, 21, is back home recovering after he suffered a fractured vertebra and spinal cord swelling when he was hit by a falling tree. West was searching for a deer that he had shot the night before when the tree fell on him.

West was able to text his father for help after the injury and was he was transported to UT Medical Center in Knoxville. His father, Travis West, told WATE he is grateful after being able to locate his son despite spotty cellphone service in the area.

“I tell you right now the way it all happened the Lord definitely had his hands on us for me to get a text and him not have any cellphone service.”

Travis West

“I tell you right now the way it all happened the Lord definitely had his hands on us for me to get a text and him not have any cellphone service,” Travis West said. “The way I was guided to him, cause the woods he was in is a big area, and I was guided straight to [Nathaniel]. Something told me to run and to run in that direction.”

West expressed his gratitude for UT Medical Center staff and Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency officer Michael Cavins, who assisted in locating his son.

“I am very thankful for everyone and I am very thankful for Michael Cavins with the TWRA. If it wasn’t for him, we would still be in that hollow. He does a lot for our community and gets over looked and I appreciate him and everyone else,” said Travis West.

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