World’s Luckiest Boy Survives Being Buried In Snow For An Hour

buried in snow

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Steven Morse, a 12-year-old boy from Baldwin Township, Minnesota, is probably feeling like the world’s luckiest boy right now. He survived being trapped for over an hour underneath snow after the tunnel he was building collapsed on him Tuesday evening.

According to CBS Minnesota, the tunnel most likely collapsed because the temperatures have risen in the area, making the snow softer. According to an emotional Steven:

“I was thinking “Oh my gosh, I don’t know what’s going to happen. I was scared for my life. I went on my back and I saw a slight dim light in which I had hope. I was forcing myself to move and making room that I could breathe.”

Apparently his entire body was covered in snow, from his head to his feet. Even typing that is giving me the heebie jeebies. This kid deserves a medal for not panicking.
He said his body was entirely stuck beneath the snow – from his head to his legs.

Steven’s dad, Brad Morse, came home over an hour later and was understandably horrified to find his son stuck in the snow. By the time he was able to pull Steven out, the boy was unresponsive:

“He was still shivering and extremely stiff and unresponsive,’ his father said. ‘But we got him in the house.”

Steven was flown via medical helicopter to an area hospital and thankfully recovered fully, with no signs of oxygen deprivation or frostbite, which seriously sounds like a miracle to me.

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    • FormerlyKnownAsWendy

      That’s super scary. But also scary that he would be out playing in the snow when no one’s home….. lots can go wrong. My kids aren’t allowed to build tunnels unless one of them is out of it at all times to go for help. I don’t wanna blame the victim here but if I was the dad, after he was fine and better and home, he’d be in some serious trouble.

      • Jessie

        I’m not sure I agree with him being in TROUBLE, because let’s face it kids just make dumb decisions sometimes, and not all parents have the same rules about playing in snow, especially with older kids like this one. The last thing a kid needs after surviving an accidental life-threatening situation is to be punished for it.
        If it were my kid, I honestly would just be glad my baby survived and he is okay now, and I wouldn’t punish him or anything, but we WOULD definitely be having a “what did we learn from this?” type of conversation.

      • FormerlyKnownAsWendy

        I’m thinking more of a grounded from snow alone (because that’s just safety) kind of punishment and one of those serious talks. I’m not talking about beating.

      • http://wtfihaveakid.blogspot.ca/ jendra_berri

        Personally, I’d feel that the kid learned a valuable lesson about snow safety, and nearly dying probably was enough of a consequence without further discipline. I’d want to talk to him about being safe in the future, though.

    • Natasha B

      WHY was this boy out playing alone in the snow, home alone?! We live in MN and it has been ridiculously cold all winter, and we just got smacked with another blizzard. His parents should have set some serious, serious boundaries about safety when he’s home alone. He is extremely lucky to be alive, and lucky he decided to tunnel this week when we’re actually above zero. Our kids and the neighborhood kids have been making tunnels and caves all winter, but we do a visual check on them at least every 20minutes. If I don’t see a hot pink or bright green coat, I’m outside checking where they are.

      • http://www.gypsyforlife.blogspot.com/ Trista Crass

        A 12 year old? You’d check every 20 minutes? That seems really dramatic, but maybe it’s a cultural thing?

      • Natasha B

        Well, at least my kids are alive? No, they’re not 12. They’re 4 and 9. The point of my comment was, why was this child outside, alone, when his parents weren’t home? What if he got hit by a car? (Roads are slick) or slipped on the ice and hit his head? Or had a tunnel of snow collapse on him and laid there stuck for an hour. If his parents were home, and he was playing outside alone, I’m sure every so often mom/dad would walk by a window and scan the area for him. And he wouldn’t have been in there for an hour. My kids play outside alone (well usually with a friend or sibling-there’s usually someone around in the burbs) for hours, but I am aware of their location and I can usually see them, from inside the house.
        I guess that makes me ‘culturally dramatic’
        Not sure exactly which culture you’re implying, though.

      • http://www.gypsyforlife.blogspot.com/ Trista Crass

        At the age of 12, I had free reign of my neighbourhood, as did most every kid I grew up with. We didn’t go home until it was dinner, and in the summer, sometimes not even then, instead spending hours screwing around in the river or lake. And we’re all still alive? I agree it’s always good to have a buddy, but that’s BCS.

        I think my point is that this was kind of a freak accident, and could’ve very well happened WHILE his parents were home, as I don’t think it’s normal to check on a 12-year-old that much.

        But I could be wrong, and maybe that’s what people do in the States.

      • http://wtfihaveakid.blogspot.ca/ jendra_berri

        I agree. I was never checked on as a 12-year-old. I remember being told not to make snow tunnels alone, and I never did. If my mom had tried to check on me every 20 minutes, I’d have felt smothered and would wonder what her problem was. I’d check on a 7-year-old relatively often if he was playing outside, but 12? No, not unless he was suffering from some sort of neurological problem where he couldn’t be trusted even at that age to keep himself safe.

        I was 12 when I started grade 8 (Bday late in the year). So, yeah… my mom totally allowed her 12-year-old daughter to be home without parental supervision after school. And she was a social worker, and very responsible.

        It’s super tempting for many people to find fault with parents every time something bad happens to a kid because it makes them feel more secure that nothing like that will ever happen to their children. But life isn’t so tidy. Kids break rules, schedules go out of whack. Sometimes you misstep or your kid does. Shit happens.

      • FormerlyKnownAsWendy

        And because of your last paragraph, because kids break rules, and shit happens, is why you glance out the window every now and then. Just to be sure your kid didn’t slip and fall or built a snow tunnel by himself and is laying there needing help. I slid down an icy hill into the woods when I was a kid and couldn’t get myself back up (about 12). Shit happens. I glance out every now and then and my kids don’t always know, so they don’t feel smothered. Your mom probably did that to you, too. We were allowed full range to play in the woods when I was a kid and the weather was not icy. But ice and snow can be dangerous. No one’s trying to blame the parents here. I bet when your mom allowed you to be home alone at 12 she expected you not to play outside in the snow with no one around.

      • http://www.gypsyforlife.blogspot.com/ Trista Crass

        Quite the contrary, FKAW–a lot of kids that age are not only allowed outside alone in bad conditions, but expected to do chores like haul water, split wood, feed animals.

        Anything can happen to anyone when they’re alone. An adult can slip and fall just as easily as a 12-year-old, and honestly, are a lot more likely to be hurt from a fall.

        Some people view life in a very different way ~

      • FormerlyKnownAsWendy

        What in the hell are you implying here? That no one should check on their kids and make sure they’re okay after they’re…however old? Do parents have to stop caring at a certain age? Look, I am usually one of the most “we are too overprotective” people you will ever meet, but I think it’s shitty that this kid was outside in the snow alone. And, shockingly, he got hurt. That should pretty much make my case for me. Honestly, as an adult, I wouldn’t play outside in the snow alone without telling someone where I was going. Because shit happens. Your “some people view life in a very different way” reeks of judgement.

      • Kat

        Well, I also don’t think I’d worry too much if my 12 year old were home an hour earlier than I am. I’m not sure because my kids aren’t 12 yet, but I don’t think so. I’m American, and I agree, we see this in a different way because — well, look at our opinions. They’re different. I don’t see why that’s so offensive, though I’ll say the it-must-be-an-[insert group] thing isn’t too cool.

      • FormerlyKnownAsWendy

        The thing is, my kid started having to home alone for an hour or so after school when she was 9. I am not overprotective at all, and I really resent being told I am because I’m American. By the same token, she had better not be spending her hour playing alone outside without my consent. That’s all I was ever trying to say.I12 is fine to be home alone, iI never said it wasn’t.

      • FormerlyKnownAsWendy

        And I don’t mean slip and fall like “Oh, my precious snowflake scaped his knee.” I mean slipped and fall and hit his head and is unconscious and laying there slowly freezing and needing help. Ice can be dangerous, as one of your comments indicated.

      • http://wtfihaveakid.blogspot.ca/ jendra_berri

        Actually, funny thing that this brings to mind: my mom was very permissive about me going out to play. I was sedentary and she wanted my ass moving in fresh air. But she was afraid I’d slip and fall in the shower. She never wanted me to shower if I was alone in the house. So, I suppose every parent has their hangup.

      • Natasha B

        Thank you! This is exactly the point I was trying to make, but am instead being painted as paranoid and smothering. Oh, and being culturally stereotypical?! Eh well, makes me feel better!

      • http://wtfihaveakid.blogspot.ca/ jendra_berri

        When I was 12, if I was outside, I was nowhere near the house. I started going to the park alone and out my mom’s sight at 8. She couldn’t have checked on me. I had to go home and request permission to go to a new location after the park, or a friend’s house, etc. The level of supervision being described (Every 20 minutes) stopped around that time.

        When I was 16 there was a massive ice storm that downed wires. I wasn’t allowed outside then till they were cleaned up and the ice melted, which took a few days. But playing in snow was never banned in normal conditions. Not making tunnels alone was just a general knowledge rule. It was imparted as common sense. But I could make snowmen, snow forts, snow angels, go to the ice rink and so on.

      • FormerlyKnownAsWendy

        Look, I take zero issue with this. I’m not sure how I’ve gotten painted as some overprotective nut. My own kid started being home alone after school at 9. However, in all your examples, someone at least knew where you were and could come after a certain amount of time, you didn’t return. the key here, as you said, is common sense. I you had it. Building a snow tunnel when no one knows you are ddoesn’t fit common sense standards, tthat’s all I’m trying to say.

      • http://wtfihaveakid.blogspot.ca/ jendra_berri

        I don’t think you’re a nut. Obviously you give a huge shit about your kids and their safety. That’s normal. That’s good. I don’t think you should stop. I just think it’s also normal to be less worried about these sorts of things, and maybe more worried about other sorts of things. No parent can be vigilant about *everything* out there that might harm their kid, you know? And snow is not inherently harmful.
        My mom let me play in snow alone. But I was not allowed to shower if she wasn’t home, ever, even as a teenager. See what I mean? Slipping and falling and drowning in the shower could happen to a 14-year-old, but many can and do shower with no one home, and surely some parent could read of a slipping tragedy and say, “My kid is not allowed to do that! Where were the parents?”
        I’m just arguing in favour of chalking things like this up to bad luck and not bad parenting. Every parent nearly kills their kid at some point because you can’t be everywhere.

      • FormerlyKnownAsWendy

        Agree. I just now got to look at all the typos from the above comment. I was trying to give a test and type under my desk while the phone kept adding letters and not letting me delete them and I may throw it through a window….

      • http://www.gypsyforlife.blogspot.com/ Trista Crass

        Agreed.

        When I was 12, actually, our neighbour’s husband died. Everyone was in the car, and he ran back into the cabin, having forgotten his wallet. He slipped, hit his head, and never woke up.

        I remember thinking, “Jesus H, ANYONE can just DIE, for no reason, at any time…”

        And I was always super-careful about icy stairs from then on.

      • Rachel Sea

        Icy decks and stairs are why I do not live any farther north than I do right now. Last time I worked in Seattle there was a freak blizzard, and the deck out of the house I stayed in was frozen over. I had to crawl across the deck and down a flight of stairs on my hands and knees so as not to fall.

      • Natasha B

        Boy, I’ll have to ask my 9yo if she feels smothered, because, you know, while I’m walking around my house I glance out the window and see where she is. I’m sure the 4yo feels smothered too. My entire point here was the parents should have made it clear to their 12yo that when he’s home alone, he should either stay inside (which is what I had to do as a child) or if he’s outside, he should have a buddy with.
        I feel for his family, and I’m sure his parents are distraught. And growing up/living in MN or other cold climates, basic safety rules are drilled into our kids heads-come inside when your toes go numb, wear a helmet when you snowboard, stay out of the street because it’s slick as heck and a car won’t be able to slam on his brakes, don’t dig snow tunnels alone in 4ftplus of snow.
        But, chalk me up as paranoid and smothering, and typically culturally overbearing American, that’s cool.

      • Laura368

        I grew up in a farming community and many kids had chores to do at that age (this was also in Canada, so snow was obviously an issue too). Having a rule that you absolutely can’t go outside alone at age 12 seems a bit much. I mean, I would tell them to be careful and not to build tunnels and things (and maybe leave a note saying where they’d gone if they weren’t going to be in immediate view), but if they knew safety rules I don’t see the need to stay inside. Accidents can happen inside or outside, to children or adults.

      • Kat

        … but nine year olds and four year olds aren’t 12 year olds. To the rest though, I see what you mean.

      • AugustW

        From her wording I think “check on” means “look out window for pink and green coats”. No smothering necessary.

      • Natasha B

        Maybe it’s just what suburban parents in MN do? Who knows. I bet parents in Russia, France, Spain, Vietnam, Mexico….you know..,keep an eye on their children and try to instill basic safety skills in them. As in, don’t play outside in 4ft of snow, burying yourself, alone, with no one around to check on you in case you hit your head or the tunnel collapses on you.
        If it had happened when his parents were home, they would have known he was outside, and maybe when dad walked by a window and glanced outside (which is what I meant by visual check) and saw the tunnel collapsed the son would have had help a lot sooner.

      • Rachel Sea

        As someone who has never overwintered where it snowed more than 3″ in a year, I have no idea what common sense rules are for playing in snow. Maybe the parents didn’t know what to teach him, maybe he was being disobedient, the story doesn’t say. Clearly building a tunnel alone was a very dangerous thing to do, but it might not have been obvious to him.

        Basic safety guidelines have changed drastically in the last 50 years, not because the world is more dangerous, but because we are more afraid of danger. Keeping an eye on your kids during the day is not a universal, there are still lots of kids allowed to roam quite freely (even at 4 years old, with an older sibling). To those kids’ parents, allowing their kids to range is for safety, so that kids learn the world before they’re out in it alone.

      • FormerlyKnownAsWendy

        I’m with you. :)

    • Jillian

      Ugh this is why snow tunnels freak me the hell out. I remember seeing people as a kid build snow tunnels and just imaging how scary it would be if that gave way and smothered you. Glad to hear the boy made it out alive because smothered by snow is so scary. A local girl where I lived passed away years ago when somehow she became stuck in large snow pile walking at night time and no one knew she was there until hours later. Her poor family :(