A 43-year-old man from Idaho is shocked to be alive after being impaled by a spear. The man was at work when a heavy hay bale spear, also known as a tine, pierced him through his back and out of his stomach.
Lucky To Be Alive
On June 27, Justin Firth was working at the Southern Idaho Commodities in Jerome, Idaho building a very heavy fence. The tine was attached to a loader when it suddenly fell and impaled Justin. Justin claimed that he felt something hit him and fell to the ground. When Justin looked up he saw the spear sticking through him and he was shocked and couldn't move.
Justin claimed that he was not pain but he could feel the moisture coming from his back. Justin immediately called 911 and his wife, Anny, who was on her way to meet her husband with their 14-year-old son. Anny was told by a cop in her neighborhood that the accident was very bad.
"The officer stopped me at the driveway and said that Justin had requested me not to see him like that. The officer is my neighbor and I said, 'How bad is it? Shoot straight with me.' He said it was pretty bad and told me to have faith and pray. So we prayed. Lots of prayers," Anny stated.
A Risky Recovery
Since the spear, which weighed 40 pounds, was still attached to the machine when it went through Justin's body, his coworkers had to cut it off from the loader with a heat torch. Justin was then transported to Portneuf Medical Center by helicopter. Doctors immediately began working on Justin but took a very long time positioning him correctly in the operating room.
Dr. Terrence Rager stated that it took him and a team of other surgeons, including Dr. Jacob Delarosa and Dr. Jorge De Amorim Filho, four hours to successfully remove the spear from Justin's body and repair the internal injuries.
Dr. Rager continued that the object missed Justin's spinal cord, the tube connecting his kidney to his bladder, and his aorta by a few centimeters. Part of Justin's colon was damaged but the surgeons were able to repair it. Justin is expected to leave the hospital sometime this week. The incident is being investigated by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration; however, no one is sure how the attachment fell from the loader.