A Jerome man is in a Pocatello hospital, lucky to be alive after a farm equipment accident.

Justin Firth is at Portneuf Medical Center after he was impaled by a piece of farm equipment and lived to tell about it.

“Very lucky,” says Justin Firth, Jerome.

Justin Firth says it was a normal day at work in Jerome, building a fence, when the loader they were using to push the fence posts in, malfunctioned.

“I just remember getting hit a little bit and went down, and when I, I knew something had happened, and so I was looking around to see what happened and seen the hay tine in me and went a little crazy for a few minutes and then they started trying to get me settled down and then everybody started showing up and trying to get me out,” says Firth.

A spear attachment to the front-loader broke off and impaled Firth.

Co-workers used a torch to cut off the part of the spear that broke off the machine.

A heavy spear logged itself through Justin’s back and out the front.

“I was pretty scared, I mean it’s pretty mind boggling and pretty scary to know what it is that is sticking through you,” says Firth.

Firth was rushed to Portneuf Medical Center in Pocatello, where a team of trauma surgeons were waiting for him.

“Hearing the nature of the injury, the thing that kills most people from these impalement injuries is massive is massive uncontrollable bleeding and then as a secondary thing we were worried about is his spinal cord, so with the advanced notice we were able to alert our neuro surgeon and have everything ready for when he arrived,” says Dr. Terrence Rager, Trauma Surgeon.

Doctors say he is extremely lucky to be alive after the nature of his injury.

“He got very lucky.  The object missed his spinal cord.  It missed his aorta, it missed the two connecting his kidney to his bladder by a few centimeters, yeah he got very, very lucky,” says Dr. Rager.

“It was really such a team effort from nurses and from techs and from first responders.  It was really incredible and we were the last bit of it as the doctors and the surgeons, but it was a whole process of getting to the operating room,” says Dr. Jacob Delarosa, Chief of Cardiac Surgery.

“Just a big thank you, because this could have killed me instantly if it would have hit me one way or the other, probably could have crushed my skull or paralyzed me, very easily could have paralyzed me,” says Firth.

Doctors say with physical therapy and rehabilitation, they expect him to make a near full recovery and they are cautiously optimistic.

Firth is hoping to be released from the hospital by Wednesday.


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