- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 18, 2007

BLACKSBURG, Va. (AP) — The image hinted at the horror that unfolded: a Virginia Tech student, sprawled and bloody, in the arms of others who struggled to carry him to safety.

The near-death ordeal of senior Kevin Sterne, 22, of Eighty Four, Pa., captured in the photograph on the front page of The Washington Times and other newspapers across the country, also reflects the resiliency and hope emerging from the country’s deadliest campus shooting rampage.

Mr. Sterne was among the dozens of students shot in Norris Hall classrooms Monday. He is now in stable condition, and doctors credited his quick thinking.

Doctors say that Mr. Sterne is a former Eagle Scout who kept enough cool to make a tourniquet from an electrical cord after a bullet tore an inch-long gash through the femoral artery of his right leg.

“The patient that I took care of was an incredible guy,” said Dr. David Stoeckle, chief of surgery at Montgomery Regional Hospital. “He was bleeding significantly … he knew he was bleeding to death.”

Emergency workers later applied a second tourniquet to the leg before racing him to the hospital for immediate surgery, Dr. Stoeckle said. The surgeon did not identify Mr. Sterne by name, but his parents told reporters their 6-foot-2-tall son was the student in the photograph.

“It really upsets me what happened,” Mr. Sterne’s father, Randy Sterne, of Cumberland, Md., told the Cumberland Times-News. “We just thank God [Kevin] was one of those who was spared.”

Randy Sterne was returning from dental surgery Monday afternoon when his ex-wife, Susan Grimes, called him about 3:30 p.m. to tell him about the campus shootings. Both parents packed their separate cars for the drive to southwestern Virginia.

Kevin Sterne is scheduled to graduate May 11 with two degrees in electrical engineering and media communications.

His father said that Kevin has been accepted to graduate school at Virginia Tech and the University of Colorado, but probably will require extensive therapy. Randy Sterne also said his son’s education plans are “the furthest from our worries.”

He also called the shootings “a horrific experience” and said he’ll wait for his son to share the details when he’s ready.

“There’s not a whole lot he can say about it right now,” Randy Sterne added. “They tell me three students [who were] around him, all three all among the 30 dead. So he was lucky.”

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