GRAPHIC: Man survives getting impaled by spear - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

GRAPHIC: Man survives getting impaled by spear

It took doctors nearly four hours to remove the spear from Justin Firth and repair internal injuries. (Source: Family/East Idaho News/CNN) It took doctors nearly four hours to remove the spear from Justin Firth and repair internal injuries. (Source: Family/East Idaho News/CNN)
Part of Justin Firth's colon was damaged but has been fixed. He's expected to go home from the hospital this week. (Source: Family/East Idaho News/CNN) Part of Justin Firth's colon was damaged but has been fixed. He's expected to go home from the hospital this week. (Source: Family/East Idaho News/CNN)
Doctors say Justin Firth's long-term prognosis is good after surviving being impaled by a hay bale spear. (Source: East Idaho News/CNN) Doctors say Justin Firth's long-term prognosis is good after surviving being impaled by a hay bale spear. (Source: East Idaho News/CNN)

POCATELLO, ID (East Idaho News/CNN) - A man in Idaho was impaled by a spear last month while building a fence.

After extensive surgery, doctors say Justin Firth's long-term prognosis is good.

"(It's) pretty mind boggling and pretty scary to know what it is that's sticking through you," he said.

Sitting in a wheelchair at Portneuf Medical Center, Firth, his wife and doctors said Monday they are still stunned that he's alive.

He was at work June 27 in Jerome, ID, building a fence.

A heavy hay bales spear, called a tine, was attached to a loader when suddenly the attachment fell and the spear pierced through Firth's back and out his stomach.

"I felt something hit me, and I went to the ground," he said. "I looked up, and I was looking around to find out what had happened. And I saw that belt tine sticking through me and into the ground."

Firth couldn't move but remained alert, and surprisingly he said he didn't feel any pain.

"I never saw any blood come out the front, and I could feel a little moisture on my back. But it was very little," he said.

His co-workers called 911. His wife Anny happened to be on her way to meet him with their 14-year-old son, who works with him.

"The officer stopped me at the driveway and said that I can't go back - that Justin had requested me not to see him like that," Anny Firth said. "And so I just looked and the officer actually happened to one of our neighbors. And I said, you know, 'How bad is it?' and, 'Shoot straight with me; I don't want to sugarcoat it.' And he says, 'Anny, it's not good but just have faith and pray.' So that's what we did. We prayed lots of prayers."

The post weighted about 40 pounds and was still attached to the machine when it went through Justin Firth's body. His colleagues cut it off from the machine, so  Justin could be loaded into the helicopter.

He was flown to a Portneuf Medical Center, where a team of surgeons jumped into action.

One of his doctors said a lot of time was spent carefully positioning the patient in the operating room because of the object still being in place.

It took doctors nearly four hours to remove the spear and repair internal injuries. They discovered that had the post gone in even a few millimeters to the left or the right, Justin Firth could have died.

The object missed his spinal cord. It missed his aorta. It missed the tube connecting his kidney to his bladder by a few centimeters.

Part of Justin Firth's colon was damaged but has been fixed. He's expected to go home from the hospital this week.

OSHA is investigating the incident. Nobody was quite sure why the post fell, but the Firth family plans to keep it as a daily reminder that Justin's time on Earth isn't finished quite yet.

"I mean it could've killed me instantly if it would have hit just a little bit one way or the other, and, you know, probably kind of crushed my skull or, you know, paralyzed me," Justin Firth said.

Copyright 2018 East Idaho News via CNN. All rights reserved.

  • Latest health & fitness newsLatest health & fitness newsMore>>

  • US health official reveals fentanyl almost killed his son

    US health official reveals fentanyl almost killed his son

    Monday, July 16 2018 6:08 PM EDT2018-07-16 22:08:40 GMT
    Wednesday, July 18 2018 2:21 PM EDT2018-07-18 18:21:03 GMT
    (AP Photo/David Goldman, File). FILE - In this June 28, 2018, file photo, Dr. Robert Redfield Jr., director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, poses at the agency's headquarters in Atlanta. The new head of the nation’s top public health...(AP Photo/David Goldman, File). FILE - In this June 28, 2018, file photo, Dr. Robert Redfield Jr., director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, poses at the agency's headquarters in Atlanta. The new head of the nation’s top public health...
    The director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says there's a personal reason for his focus on the opioid epidemic: His son almost died from taking fentanyl-laced cocaine.More >>
    The director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says there's a personal reason for his focus on the opioid epidemic: His son almost died from taking fentanyl-laced cocaine.More >>
  • FDA OKs 1st drug to treat smallpox, in case of terror attack

    FDA OKs 1st drug to treat smallpox, in case of terror attack

    Friday, July 13 2018 5:39 PM EDT2018-07-13 21:39:18 GMT
    Wednesday, July 18 2018 1:15 PM EDT2018-07-18 17:15:02 GMT
    (Fred Murphy/CDC via AP). This 1975 microscope image made available by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows a cluster of smallpox viruses. On Friday, July 13, 2018, U.S. regulators announced the approval of the first treatment for small...(Fred Murphy/CDC via AP). This 1975 microscope image made available by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows a cluster of smallpox viruses. On Friday, July 13, 2018, U.S. regulators announced the approval of the first treatment for small...
    US regulators approve 1st treatment for smallpox in case the long-gone disease is used in terror attack.More >>
    US regulators approve 1st treatment for smallpox in case the long-gone disease is used in terror attack.More >>
  • New ways to conquer sleep apnea compete for place in bedroom

    New ways to conquer sleep apnea compete for place in bedroom

    Thursday, July 12 2018 7:49 AM EDT2018-07-12 11:49:08 GMT
    Wednesday, July 18 2018 11:58 AM EDT2018-07-18 15:58:58 GMT
    (AP Photo/Emiliano Rodriguez Mega). A technician prepares equipment to monitor Martin Braun's brain activity during a sleep study at the New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center in New York on Wednesday June 27, 2018. Braun, 76, stopped using...(AP Photo/Emiliano Rodriguez Mega). A technician prepares equipment to monitor Martin Braun's brain activity during a sleep study at the New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center in New York on Wednesday June 27, 2018. Braun, 76, stopped using...
    New remedies for sleep apnea are vying for a place in the bedrooms of millions of people craving a good night's rest.More >>
    New remedies for sleep apnea are vying for a place in the bedrooms of millions of people craving a good night's rest.More >>
Powered by Frankly