Tenn. Toddler, 2, Freed After Getting Stuck in Antique Wooden Barrel

Naledi Ushe
·4 min read

Kelly Strubing/ facebook

Kids sometimes end up in the craziest places.

Tennessee toddler Dorian Strubing got stuck in an antique wooden barrel on Saturday during a visit with his grandparents.

Dorian's father Lance Strubing tells PEOPLE, "We were eating dinner and he had finished eating and was over playing then calmly yelled 'help please' like he does if he wants something opened or the like so we didn't even realize he was stuck at first. Every one stayed pretty calm over all as he was clearly not in pain."

"My first reaction was disbelief I thought we'd be able to wiggle or adjust angles and get him out," he says.

Dorian's mother Kelly Strubing similarly tells PEOPLE, "My initial reaction was disbelief!"

Kelly Strubing

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"When I saw him in the barrel I figured we could help him stand up to get out. We quickly realized he was wedged in," Kelly says. "Because of the position of his hips and knees he was wedged when he tried to straighten"

Lance tells PEOPLE he "wanted to go straight to the fire department," but his wife suggested they go to the emergency room.

"I am a nurse so I thought going to an ER would be the right call because once we were there they could call in additional resources as necessary," Kelly tells PEOPLE of her intuition. "I wanted the X-Ray because I knew if they were cutting the barrel there was a danger of cutting Dorian. The barrel was several inches thick and solid wood."

Dorian, 2, had to be lifted and driven to the hospital in the barrel, with his head, shoulders and arms stuck out from the top.

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The toddler was removed from the barrel with the help of Sumner County Emergency Medical Services, the Portland Fire Department and hospital workers.

At the hospital, medical professionals used X-rays to determine where Dorian's hips, knees and feet were in order to make an opening with a power saw, Kelly shares.

Kelly Strubing

Kelly Strubing

"I was holding the barrel for a good portion of the cutting and bracing it so that I could keep him calm," Dorian's father tells PEOPLE. "Dorian stayed pretty calm throughout mostly getting cranky due to his normal bed time being at 7:30 pm."

Once a hole at the bottom of the barrel was created, the toddler was able to straighten his legs and be pulled out from the top.

Dorian's mother tells PEOPLE, "I had been standing and supporting his head while they chipped away to make sure the hole was big enough for his feet to get out. Once his feet were out and his legs were straightened I pulled him free through the top of the barrel."

"That was the very best hug I have ever gotten," Kelly adds of the moment Dorian was freed. "I will remember holding him tight in that moment for the rest of my life."

Kelly Strubing

The father says all the "pent up stress just came crashing down" when the 2-year-old was freed. Kelly adds she felt "pure relief."

"My wife is also 30 weeks pregnant with twins and I am going through a lot of changes in my job so finally knowing Dorian was safe and free was just so nice," Lance says.

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Dorian held on to a teddy bear throughout the rescue.

"It was certainly nerve-wracking, but now that he's safe, we all are getting a good laugh from it," Kelly told WKRN-TV.

The operation began at approximately 6:15 pm and ended at approximately 7:45 pm, Lance tells PEOPLE.

Kelly Strubing

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Dorian also left the hospital with the wooden barrel full of messages from the staff who helped free him and a popsicle treat.

Kelly Strubing

Kelly Strubing

The child did not sustain any injuries.

"Dorian is great!" Lance says of his son, however "he was cranky the first day out" since he didn't get home until after 10 pm which is much later than his bedtime.