19-year-old laborer Loren Schauers was driving a forklift truck over a bridge when he swerved and fell more than 50ft, ending up pinned to the ground with the enormous vehicle landing on top of him.
In Montana, USA, the story of Loren Schauers was one of the most talked about topics of 2019. The 19 year old was driving an industrial forklift truck across a bridge and was left with life-threatening injuries, after he swerved and fell more than 50ft, with the 4-ton vehicle landing on top of him. One of the things that amazed doctors who arrived at the scene, was that Loren remained conscious the whole time. After the fall he even looked down and saw that his arm had exploded and that the bottom half of his body had been completely crushed.
His only chance of survival was to undergo hemicorperectomy surgery, where doctors would amputate everything from his waist down. His doctors told Loren’s girlfriend, Sabia Reiche, now 21, that the operation was likely to be fatal. According to their predictions, Loren wouldn’t survive. The couple said their goodbyes at least six times. However, to everyone’s surprise, he pulled through and made it. And the couple, who at the time had only been together for 18 months, are now engaged. The accident has brought them even closer.
“I was conscious the whole time. My eyes were wide open and I saw the forklift come down and land on my hips and my right forearm. (…) Every medical professional I come across is pretty amazed by everything, especially with the story that comes along with my injuries.(…) It wasn’t a hard choice to have half of my body amputated – it was basically a choice of living or dying. (…) With Sabia assuring to stay by my side no matter what and all my immediate family being around me, it really wasn’t a hard choice for me!”
– said Loren Schauers, as reported by the Daily Mail–
As well as surviving a complicated operation, Loren had suffered the complete loss of his forearm and right hand, he had broken his collarbone and right shoulder, suffered a pulmonary embolism and needed a breathing tube. At one point doctors thought that Loren’s lower extremities were salvageable, so they tied together his main veins down there but they didn’t get any positive results. They then performed the first surgery where they left his right hip, genitalia and left thigh, however his pelvis was so severely damaged that they had to opt for hemicorporectomy surgery. They tried to save Loren’s sperm but it wasn’t viable.
“There were many heartfelt, teary, sad conversations within the span of the first month of him being in hospital. (…) The first time we said goodbye was before his surgery but he still had his intubator in so he was writing to us as he couldn’t talk. (…) The night before his surgery, he wrote ‘I love you’ on a piece of paper as it could have been our last night together. I still have that piece of paper today. (…) There were plenty of times that the doctors told us that he was probably going to die, so we had these really long ‘I love you’ and everything like that conversations. (…) The doctors would say he was going to die, we’d have a goodbye conversation and then he wouldn’t die. (…) ‘It sucked, to put it blatantly, we hated it. His health was teasing us, like ‘haha we’re fine now but going to die soon so you’ll all be sad’, but then he lived.”
– said Sabia Reiche, his girlfriend–
After a spending a month in Seattle (Washington) Loren was transferred to a hospital in Montana so that he could be closer to his family and they could visit him more frequently. Doctors still believed that he would die and so they wanted him to spend as much time with his loved ones as possible. But, his health began to improve far quicker than they expected. They initially thought that he would need at least a year and a half in hospital to recover but in the end he only stayed for 3 months and then had 4 weeks of rehabilitation. After that he was able to go home.