The Roanoke Times, June 19, 1996 Page C2


PULASKI - The condition of a 10-year-old boy who accidentally hanged himself Thursday night is steadily improving, his grandmother said Tuesday.

Bethany Rooker said Daniel Jason Rooker cannot talk but is doing better. "He's improving a little bit all the time because of all the wonderful care and prayers," Rooker said.

The boy, who goes by his middle name of Jason, remains in the pediatric intensive care unit of Carilion Roanoke Community Hospital where he is listed in stable condition, according to his father, Greg Rooker.

"We would like to thank all the people who have prayed for Jason; we really think that's made the difference," Greg Rooker said.

Jason, who just completed the fourth grade at Bethel Elementary School in Montgomery County, accidentally hanged himself while playing in his parents' yard near Claytor Lake. The entire family was working in the yard at the time and quickly found the boy, who was unconscious, state police said. The accident happened about 8 p.m.

State police said Jason tied a rope to the branch of a tree and climbed a nearby fence before he fell or jumped, tangled in the rope. The fence was about 5 feet tall.

Jason's parents cut the rope and immediately administered CPR. It took about 15 minutes for rescue personnel to arrive. The boy was taken to Carilion Radford Community Hospital and then flown to Roanoke where he was originally listed in critical condition.

Greg Rooker said his son was taken off a ventilator Monday, and doctors say they are "cautiously optimistic" about Jason's recovery. The amount of brain damage, if any, his son suffered is unknown, he said.


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