Man survives forklift crushing his pelvis - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Man survives forklift crushing his pelvis

An offshore worker is crushed on the job by a heavy piece of machinery, but he is still alive to tell the story.

"I know it's a miracle. It's a miracle believe me you it's a miracle," said Georgia Caston, the mother of injured worker Jermaine Hill.

"They keep telling me I was stuck under the forklift and I don't remember.." recalled Hill.

He said he was off the Louisiana coast at the time of the accident and paramedics airlifted him to Lake Charles Memorial Hospital. When his mother heard the news she said her heart hit the floor. His pelvis was in shambles. Dr. Timothy Axelrad, orthopedic trauma surgeon at Lake Charles Memorial Hospital, said his pelvis was detached from part of his vertebrae and the right side was ripped open.

"At the same time, he had a dislocation of his hip and below that his femur was fractured and sticking out through the skin," continued Axelrad.

"When I first saw him I didn't think he was going to survive, but once I got to the hospital it was like a peace just came over me. I knew it was going to be a long road, but I felt he was going to make it," said Caston.

Dr. Axelrad said Hill swelled because blood and fluid building up in his wounds.

"He didn't even look like himself.  I'd say he might of been 100 or so pounds over his natural weight," described Caston.

Six weeks after the incident, Dr. Axelrad has already performed a dozen or so surgeries on Hill. He is now able to sit up and has some function in the upper part of his legs.

On the door to his hospital room a sign reads, "Jermaine is our miracle."

"There were some things that happened that night that were pretty amazing...To go from a temperature of 85 with the pH that he had and to come back with just medical treatment I don't know if that's all...Makes you wonder," said Dr. Axelrad.

He has high hopes for Hill, but said the process will not be easy.

"Nerve recovery can take a year more. He could potentially walk oh yes he could walk with braces at this point and depending on the nerve recovery maybe without braces," said. Dr. Axelrad.

This is music to Hill's ears. For now Hill's mother stays by his side everyday helping him eat and reminding him to look at the wall of support filled with cards and pictures from his family.

"Each day you open your eyes and say thank you for this day, not yesterday this day, because he didn't have to do it," said Caston.

"I'm taking it one day at a time and it seems like I'm getting better," said a hopeful Hill.

Though he is six weeks into recovery, he still has several surgeries ahead.

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