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Little girl's 'saviour': 'Look out for each other'

Calvin Stein says heís no hero, but it was his quick action and horse instinct that saved a three-year-old girl from being trampled by a runaway team of horses at the Tweed Fair on Saturday. Stein, 51, of Madoc, was harnessing his own team waiting for his turn to compete at the fairís horse pull competition when he saw a team break free from their handler and head into a crowd of onlookers.

Q: Can you tell us what happened?

A: ďItís unfortunate. The team got away from a gentleman. I was standing at my trailer waiting for our turn in the ring. Anyway, the team came running and my instincts was to try to catch the team. I knew how to read them. I knew the direction they were going and I knew where they were headed.

ďI saw a father standing there with three kids talking to another teamster. He had one on either side of him and the other was standing beside the other guy on his right-hand side. I ran as fast as I could screaming and everybody started to scatter. The father had ahold of two of them and the three year old was just standing there, oblivious to what was going on.

ďI just swooped the young lady up and I just basically ó I knew they were close ó I just threw her. I knew sheíd bounce, she maybeíd break and arm or a leg. I guess thatís not what youíre supposed to do ó throw kids ó but I just threw her and the team mowed me over. I flipped and flopped and the rest is history. The young lady was taken to hospital ó sheís fine, a few bumps and bruises, very fortunate.

Q: What about you? Were you injured?

A: Iíve got a broken orbital socket, concussion, a bunch of stitches in the face. Iím going to carry some dirty scars. And Iíve got one eye thatís a little screwed up.

Q: Wow. The police described it as Ďminor injuries.í

A: Thatís what I told him. Iím fine. I can heal. Iím very optimistic.

Q: Could you see the horses coming? Did they trample you from behind?

A: From the side. I tried to do it all in one motion. Pick her up and run. But by the time I picked her up they were on top of me, so I just threw her. Someone told me that it looked like, you know, when you have a child sitting in your lap in a car accident and how they get ejected? They thought she got ejected. But I remember throwing her. I remember everything. I wasnít knocked out or nothing.

I just remember laying on the ground. When I hit the ground and the blood pooling by my head. I thought it was over. I thought, ĎWell, this is the way Calvinís going to croak.í

But I got excellent, excellent health care. Everyone complains about health care, until they need it. Well, I needed it. That stay in the hospital was nothing.

Q: Where did you go to hospital?

A: They took me to Belleville. That was my request. They were going to fly me to Toronto, then they were going to fly me to Kingston. But they couldnít get the helicopter landed at the fairground because of all the animals. So I talked to the EMS, I said, ĎI can tell you thereís something broken in my face, but the rest of me is just muscle bruising.í So they took me down and ran me through their CAT scans and other run of the mill stuff.

Q: Do you consider yourself a hero?

A: It just happened. It was an accident. Iím just glad I was there to save the kid.

Somebody called me a hero. But if youíre going to write anything, you can put this down: ĎIím not a hero. The heroes are the men and women of our Canadian Forces, and the men and women of our police forces, and the men and women of our EMS. Iím just an average person that did what everybody should do. Look out for each other. Thatís what I really believe.

Q: Have you heard from the little girlís family?

A: They wanted to see me but my brother told them to wait a few days. They sent me a couple of wonderful texts. They thanked me and said I was their saviour and the whole shooting match, but thatís notÖ. Iím just me.Ē

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