Simon Alex’s Story

In April 2012, 18 year old Simon Alex had a very lucky escape with death.

He was assisting with the homekill slaughter of a cow in Kumeu, when the bullet ricocheted from the bull’s head and tore through his chest, ripping through his main arteries, piercing a rib and striking his lungs.

When the Auckland Westpac Rescue Helicopter arrived on the scene, Alex had already ‘died’ and been revived twice while on the ground. He had lost a lot of blood and Paramedic, Marcel Driessen, feared he would not survive. Luckily for Alex, the helicopter was able to call ahead and get the team at the hospital prepared for his arrival. An experienced trauma surgeon was on duty that day and ready and waiting for Alex as soon as the helicopter landed.

The team worked on Alex in the emergency room for 15 minutes, before taking him into the operating theatre to remove the bullet in a 2 hour procedure. All up, Alex had 3 operations and 90 staples to close him up. The fact that Alex survived despite having been given a 5% chance of survival has baffled the medical team. No doubt the fast actions of the Auckland Westpac Rescue Helicopter crew and the behind the scenes communications with the hospital played a very big part in that.

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