A college student and competitive bodybuilder was on life-support Tuesday night after a weightlifting accident.
Chris Harmon, 20, of Granville has years of experience in weight training. On Monday he was at the gym, lifting hundreds of pounds, when the bar slipped 10TV's Glenn McEntyre reported.
Those who know Harmon describe him as a young man of exceptional focus and determination.
"Lifting weights and bodybuilding's always been his passion," said Harmon's father Scott Harmon.
On Monday, Harmon broke a personal record, bench-pressing more than 400 pounds. He was following that up with a 250-pound incline bench press when the bar slipped.
"And somehow the bar slipped from his hands and fell about two and a half feet and struck him across the face," Scott Harmon said.
The impact shattered his cheekbones and jaw, crushed an eye socket and severed two arteries, McEntyre reported.
Doctors told Harmon's parents there was some good news.
"He said if the bar would have hit him that much higher, on the head, he would have been paraplegic and been brain-dead basically," Scott Harmon said.
Harmon's future is still uncertain, McEntyre reported.
He has already undergone two surgeries, with more to come. In the last 24 hours, his father said he was conscious for only a brief moment.
"I was sitting there stroking his head. And he grabbed my hand, and he looked at me and they gave him some medicine and made him go back to sleep," Scott Harmon said.
As experienced a weight-trainer as Harmon is, his father said his mistake was lifting without someone to spot him.
"Because it only takes a split second. In one second he dropped that weight and his life is forever changed," Scott Harmon said.
Harmon's father said he wants to thank those who helped his son immediately after the accident.
He does not know if it was the medics or gym staff, but someone placed Harmon face down, rather than on his back. Doctors said that prevented his lungs from filling with blood, and likely saved his life, McEntyre reported.
The owner of the Advantage Club Gym did not want to comment, McEntyre reported.
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