by: Diana Davis Updated:
SMYRNA, Ga. - A Smyrna landscaper nearly cut off his arm on the job, but a doctor happened to be in the right place at the right time.
Landscaper Filiberto Huaracha was building a custom barbecue with his crew for a client when the sharp saw of the stone grinder he was using ripped through his arm.
“It just kept running and running until I hold it with both of my hands,” Huarach said from his Grady Hospital bed Tuesday.
He said the blade nearly sliced his arm in two.
“I was like, if I don't die they're just going to cut my arm because half of my arm was gone,” he told Channel 2’s Diana Davis.
Huarach and his crew couldn't stop the bleeding. He told Davis he thought he would die and thought of his wife and four kids.
“And I saw that big hole, that big old cut, then I tried to put my hand, I tried to hold it and the blood was just squirting through my fingers. It was like a hose,” he said.
He didn't know where the nearest hospital was, but he spotted a sign for a doctor’s office about 500 yards away. He stumbled and nearly collapsed in a pool of blood on the front walk of plastic surgeon Dr. Keith Jeffords.
“He was asking me not to let him die and then, he was getting lightheaded and he goes, 'Jesus, I’m coming to you' and I said, ‘No, you're not,'” Jeffords told Davis.
Jeffords hadn’t handled a trauma case since his residency.
“It’s like riding a bike. I just went into action mode. It was pretty exhilarating but scary as well,” Jeoffords said.
He said not only his staff but patients helped, one man ripping off his shirt to stem the flow of blood.
“He helped me control the bleeding, actually picked up a cellphone and called 911 himself,” said Jeffords.
Paramedics got Huaracha to Grady where surgeons saved his arm. He told Davis he never would have made it to Grady without the help of Jeffords, his staff and his patients.
“I mean, he was awesome. He did a really good job. If it wasn’t because of him I probably would have died,” Huaracha said.
He hopes to regain the use of his arm, but it could be a long time. He'll need weeks or months of rehab, and he does not have insurance.