Hunters know that firing three shots means you're in trouble.
Don Feaster heard the distress signal while hunting deer with relatives in Thomasville, Ala., more than a week ago. He found his father, George Feaster, lying on the ground. He had fallen about 15 feet from a homemade tree stand after its seat broke.
By the time the ambulance arrived, George Feaster, 68, of Largo, was in bad shape.
"His face was swelling up from air leaking from his lungs into (his) tissue," said Don Feaster. "He had a real hard time breathing."
He had broken his shoulder blade, clavicle and nine ribs, doctors told his family.
George Feaster was hospitalized for about a week in the surgical intensive care unit of the University of South Alabama Medical Center.
He was expected to be transferred to Suncoast Hospital in Largo on Monday.
"He's in good spirits. He's ready to get back to Largo," said Don Feaster, a fire inspector for the Largo Fire Department.
George Feaster, the brother of late Mayor Thom Feaster, is the funeral director for Moss-Feaster Funeral Homes.
While his brother got involved in politics, George Feaster stayed active in business and community organizations, such as the Largo Lions Club and the Largo/Mid-Pinellas Chamber of Commerce.
He is an avid hunter, and this was his first accident, Don Feaster said.
He had been sitting up in the tree stand for several hours when he leaned forward and part of the seat broke. After he fell to the ground, he called for help. In spite of his injuries, he climbed up the ladder to retrieve his rifle so that he could fire three shots.
"That's one tough guy," Don Feaster said.
George Feaster's girlfriend, Kim Bergman, and son, Paul, flew to Alabama to be with him. He is expected to take several months to fully recover because of his broken ribs.
_ Shannon Tan can be reached at (727) 445-4174 or shtansptimes.com.