After accidentally impaling himself with an industrial power tool, a Brazilian farmer had to travel 30 miles with the machine wedged in his stomach so he could undergo surgery to remove it.
Gregório Steinmedc, 56, was cutting firewood at his home in the state of Rio Grande do Sul in Brazil when an angle grinder he was using slipped and dug itself 4 inches into his abdomen.
The farmer immediately searched for his wife, and Frida Maria Steinmedc used her first aid knowledge to staunch the bleeding.
“He wanted to take it out and I said no, we couldn’t take it out, we had to go to the hospital,” she told Globo, a Brazilian newspaper.
The couple first went to a local doctor in their town of Campina das Missões where they were told to go to the nearest hospital, which was 30 miles away. Gregório Steinmedc said he had the tool, which is used to grind wood or metal, jammed in his stomach for at least two hours.
The Brazilian farmer was in surgery for another two and a half hours as doctors removed the angle grinder from his abdomen. The lead surgeon, Maurício Romano, said the tool did not puncture any of Steinmedc’s vital organs, and his wife as well as the nurses in his hometown most likely saved his life.
“If they had removed the saw,” Romano told Globo, “[He] could have had a hemorrhage in the abdominal wall and died.”
According to the Life and Health Hospital in Santa Rosa, where Steinmedc was treated, he is healing well after his surgery. He has since vowed to stay away from chainsaws and similar tools because he has realized their potential danger.
“I had faith,” Steinmedc said, according to Globo. “I’m strong. I wasn’t scared to die.”