Brave grandpa who chainsawed face and tongue in half while chopping wood drove himself to hospital 20 miles away
68-year-old Bill Singleton lost most of his teeth, with the chainsaw reaching as far back as his wisdom teeth and coming catastrophically close to severing a major artery
An Australian grandfather who accidentally chainsawed his face and tongue in half while chopping firewood managed to clean himself up and drive 32 kilometers to the nearest hospital to receive treatment. The 68-year-old, Bill Singleton from Ballarat, Melbourne, detailed his miraculous tale of survival in the May 2016 incident in the podcast, 'How I Survived'.
According to Daily Mail, on that fateful day, Singleton told his wife Lynette, that he was going out to chop firewood and would be back home soon. He proceeded to take out his utility vehicle and drove through a solitary, winding dirt road to reach his destination.
Having cased out the logs of timber which he would be targeting, the 68-year-old went back to his vehicle to retrieve his chainsaw so he could get to work. But instead of sawing through the wood, the tool ricocheted off the timber and back towards his face.
"I heard this crack," Singleton said. "I didn't feel anything at the time, and I thought, 'Oh my goodness.'" The chainsaw had torn through his bottom lip and into his tongue, splitting his jaw and leaving him bleeding profusely. He began losing consciousness and dropped to his knees, using his handkerchief to momentarily stem the bleeding.
Grandfather drives himself to hospital after slicing his face in HALF with chainsaw https://t.co/YZ3aF3XBhM— Jerry Ray (@jerryandthecats) March 14, 2019
Even though he had his phone in his pocket, he couldn't call for help and knew that if he did get through to an ambulance, he wouldn't be able to speak anyway because he had sliced his tongue in half.
Losing time, Singleton decided to painstakingly crawl the 40 meters that separated him from his car and used gauze and a makeshift sling to treat himself. "What was I supposed to do? Sit myself down at the base of a tree and lean back and wait for the lights to go out?" he said.
Then, with one hand on the steering wheel and the other on his mangled face, Singleton drove 32 kilometers (19.88 miles) to the nearest hospital, where a team of surgeons worked relentlessly to put his face back together.
The Mail reported that the mishap had seen Singleton lose most of his teeth, with the chainsaw reaching as far back as his wisdom teeth. He had also seemingly come catastrophically close to severing his carotid artery and his larynx.
His jaw had to be fitted with a metal plate to repair the damage, with a post-op picture showing the 68-year-old with stitches running all the way from his lower neck to the middle of his jaw. Speaking about Singleton, surgeon Professor Nastri was quoted saying, "He basically just looked like someone who was a gunshot wound victim. He split the whole part of his face open. It was like something out of a science fiction movie."
Nerve damage to the tongue meant it was now permanently numb. It also meant it took the 68-year-old weeks to learn to talk again, though his fighting spirit saw him released from the hospital in just three weeks. A few days afterward, he was once again back to chopping wood. He had had two more surgeries since then to secure his metal jawline and prepare his gums for new teeth.