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An American teenager who survived against all odds after being crushed by a forklift truck has had to amputate the lower half of his body and his right arm.
Loren Schauers, 19, veered off a bridge and fell 50 feet to the ground where the 3,628 kilogram forklift he was operated landed on him, causing horrendous injuries. He was conscious the entire time and watched his right arm explode before he saw everything below his waist get crushed.
An air ambulance lifted Loren on a stretcher and then flew him to a hospital in Montana, where he is from.
He had completely lost his right forearm and hand, broken his right collarbone, suffered a pulmonary embolism, which is a blockage in his lung artery, and required a breathing tube.
His lower body was completely crushed and he decided to allow doctors perform amputate everything below his waist.
Medical staff did not think Loren would make it and told his family and girlfriend, Sabia, to say their goodbyes.
Loren had been working on rehabilitating a highway bridge outside Wilsal, Montana, when cars started illegally passing him through the traffic lights, narrowing the single lane and pushing him towards the edge of the bridge.
He tried to jump out of the forklift but his leg got stuck in his seatbelt forcing him to stay connected to it as it rolled twice before flinging him to the bottom of the hill and rolling onto him.
Loren said: ‘I was conscious throughout everything so I actually watched as the forklift fell on top of me and crushed my body.
‘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!
‘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.
‘I remember looking to my right with the forklift on top of my body and there was big old piece of muscle from my arm just lying on the ground next to me. It had just blown apart instantly from the impact.’
Doctors tried to save Loren’s sperm after he was transferred to a hospital in Seattle, Washington, but ‘it turned out not to be viable’.
Loren’s family and girlfriend of 18 months said goodbye to him six times while he was in hospital in September last year before they realised he stood a chance of making it.
Sabia said: ‘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.
He was transferred to a hospital in Montana a month after his accident because doctors still thought he would die and wanted him to be close to family.
But he started to improve and left hospital after three months and four weeks of rehab despite doctors’ expectations that he would have to be hospitalised for at least a year and a half.
Loren has taught himself how to put on his ‘bucket’ prosthetic and get into his wheelchair without any help.
Sabia said: ‘Throughout it all, Loren has been super innovative in order to make himself as independent as possible.
‘Any time an obstacle presents itself in our new life, he just finds any way around it and comes up with a wild solution that a ‘normal’ abled person wouldn’t normally think of.’
Loren proposed to Sabia earlier this year and they plan to get married either next year or the year after.
‘My best advice to anyone going through something like this is that you can’t focus on the things you can’t have and you must live your life to the fullest with what you do have,’ he said.
Loren is currently unemployed but is trying to become a Twitch influencer with his @iAceNation account.
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