Heart of Utah is a weekly segment highlighting all of the good news from around the state.
Two men say they will forever be friends after one saved the other’s life on a fishing trip in the High Uintas this year.
Bryan Lay and Benjamin Goodson are fishing buddies. This summer they wanted to try and see if they could catch an Artic Grayling in the high mountain lakes of the Uintas.
The fishing was going well, they had caught a few types of trout and they were having a blast. While going from Trial Lake to Washington Lake, they got out some snacks. Goodson grabbed a handful of raw almonds from Lay, forgetting that years before he had had a mild allergic reaction. He had eaten them in candy and cookies since then, but what happened next was truly frightening.
“I thought, oh my goodness, what in the heck was I thinking?” said Goodson. His throat started to close up, and he hoped a drink of water would help it go away. But it got worse.
“He kept clearing his throat. His face was getting red, his ears were swelling,” said Lay. “He was itching all over.”
Lay knew they should head for help. But they were almost 30 miles from Kamas, with no cell service.
“I gave it the gas, I was getting into care as fast as I could get him there,” he said.
Lay kept talking to Goodson along the way, asking him questions, telling him to look for grouse or cows along Highway 150.
He could see his friend continue to swell all over, and he was getting more and more quiet, like he was falling asleep.
Goodson remembers some of it.
“He’s trying to drive a million miles down windy roads with his friend in trouble next to him, calm as a cucumber. He put the pedal to the metal,” said Goodson.
“He could jar me, and I’d come to, but two to three miles from town, I went out.”
An ambulance met them at a gas station. Later Goodson found out they gave him several doses of Benadryl and epinephrin shots along the way, and more in the hospital.
Lay was thinking the worst, until they told him he could go see his friend.
“I went walking back there and he was sitting up eyes open and breathing and I said you have no idea to see you with your eyes open,” he laughed.
Goodson says Lay absolutely saved his life. He knows it was due to Lay’s training as a police officer. He’s a corporal in the Logan City Police Department. He says no one else could have stayed that calm, and driven so well, and known what to do so quickly.
“It took a special individual to save my life,” said Goodson. “He’s my best friend forever. I owe him my life.”
Lay says he just did his best and focused in the moment, but when he was left alone at the gas station, it hit him what happened.
“That’s one of the scariest times I’d ever had with someone,” he said.
Even sitting up in his hospital bed, Goodson was asking Lay if they could go back out fishing again. Lay laughed and told him he’d better get him home.
The friends say they will go fishing together soon, probably ice-fishing this winter. But they will bring an EpiPen along. And no more almonds.
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