ELECTROCUTED!!

I just learned today that a good acquaintance of mine was electrocuted last week!

He works on high voltage commercial stuff.  They were working at the local ai port at the time.  He was eighty feet up on a lift and fortunately he had a helper with him too.  While working some distance over the eighty foot lift he was electrocuted and fell into the lift… dead.

Here’s what I learned when his wife called me this morning and upon my subsequent visit to the Rehabilitation Center this afternoon to visit my friend.

This is no young whipper-snapper careless guy.  He is probably in his mid fifties.  He and his helper were up in an eighty foot lift.  My friend climbed even higher to make repairs to some wires.  The thing is that whoever wired the pole before him had wired it improperly.  The neutral wire was wired HOT!  So when my friend grabbed what he thought was the neutral wire he was zapped with FOUR HUNDRED EIGHTY VOLTS OF ELECTRICITY!!  The jolt of electricity (of course) knocked him off the pole and he landed in the eighty foot lift… dead with a broken leg.  Fortunately they were at the airport/Air Force Base.  Emergency crews were on hand almost immediately.  I’m told my friend was dead for nine minutes!  His right hand (where he grabbed the “neutral” wire) is black with cracked skin and red meat showing through the cracks.  He always wears a cowboy hat.  The cowboy hat had metal studs around the band.  The electricity blew out all the metal in the hat and the inside of the hat had the skin from his head stuck to it.  I understand that emergency workers used the paddles on him twice to bring him back to life.

I’m told that the doctors at the hospital used some new treatment similar to when someone drowns in cold water.  They kept him in a chill blanket and coma for two days to minimize brain damage.  Of course he is in a wheelchair right now.  He has a new cowboy hat and to be honest I’ve never seen him look so good.  His color was good, he had a smile on his face he carried on a conversation and joked around that he saw neither a white lite or a red light.  He also said that the only thing he remembers is waking up in the hospital three days after he went to work.

His wife told me that the only thing that seems off right now is his short term memory.  Like he can’t remember things from two weeks ago.  She is glad that that seems to be the worst of it.

He’s been in the hospital for almost two weeks and she just called me this morning.  Can’t blame her really.   Like I said in my opening comments, they are really “just” acquaintances.  She called me first thing this morning asking if I had heard the news.  She explained to me what happened and then asked if I could get out to clean their carpets sometime this week.  You see they have four or five of those little Shitzu dogs and since she would leave the house in the mornings around eight and not return until ten that night… for a week; the doggies have left quite a mess.  So Thursday morning at eight-thirty think of me… until about ten thirty or eleven.

Man can you imagine getting hit with more than enough electricity to run your house?!

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8 Responses to ELECTROCUTED!!

  1. Lindsey says:

    Wow, that is really something! Not the kind of news you expect to hear! Especially the part where he was dead/not dead. YIKES. I’m glad you can help her out (although that will NOT be a pleasant smell, make sure to open the windows and run some fans before you go in there!) I will certainly say prayers for you and them as well.

    mssc54 replied:

    Lindsey: The thing that stunned me most is how good he looked. Seriously, I’ve never seen him look so good. Maybe that nearly two weeks without smoking and drinking is paying off.

    I have a mask if I need it and you won’t believe the products I have that will make that place unbelieveably clean. I’ve got this stuff that you literally poor onto the “bad spots”, let it dwell for about 15 minutes and then put a special tool on top of it and it will pull all the “stuff” from the subfloor through the pad, the carpet backing, up the shaft of the carpet fibers and it won’t stop going until it’s in the recovery tank in the van. But cleaning out the tank won’t be much fun at all. I’m just so glad to be able to do something so tangible that will make such a huge difference for them.

    Quite the glamorous job I have. lol 🙂

  2. Joy says:

    Thank heavens for modern medicine. This is bad but good news. Considering the alternative. I’ll keep him in my thoughts and prayers.

    mssc54 replied:

    Joy: I spoke with my oldest daughter this morning. She is actually the one who ran the CAT scans on the guy just after he arrived. She said the “chill blanket” is to minimize damage to internal organs…. as opossed to external organs I guess.

  3. Sue says:

    At first, I didn’t know if you were joking or not. Unfortunately, I know what electricity can do and it’s not because I work in surgery. My uncle was electrocuted at work in 1996, but he didn’t make it. He was standing on the outside of a dump truck hanging on to the door while the driver was backing up (I think giving directions). The truck’s box was up and it hit the powerline overhead and blew my uncle off the truck and onto the ground. EMS was able to rescitate him after 30 min, but he never regained consciousness. He spent a week in the burn unit at a wonderful hospital in the cities on life support. He had a burn on his hand between his thumb and pointer finger from where he was hanging onto the door and then both feet were charred to a crisp from where the current exited. All of the family was able to get there to say goodbye, but it was the longest week of my life. Odd as it was, it brought my husband and I together. Nothing like talking to the new neighbor boy at your uncle’s wake with your cousin’s (who just lost their dad) saying “Just do it. Go talk to him!” I kept thinking, are they nuts! This is no place to get asked out on a date!

    mssc54 replied:

    Surgical Sue: Yep this is a true story. It is interesting how, at times, wonderful things are birthed out of tragedy.

  4. Wait…he’s alive?! Oh my god, that’s…I have no words for this. My heart goes out to him and his family.

    mssc54 replied:

    HaydenL: Yeh, it is pretty amazizng. I think his wife is going to “make him” retire. lol

    I told her, yesterday, that since his short term memory is not good right now to remind him of the ten day cruise he promised to take her on this summer. 😉

  5. servant says:

    Glad to hear the happy ending! I trust a moment like this will be used to evaluate all the important things in life…and in the one to come!

    mssc54 replied:

    Servant: I spoke with the wife this morning and she asked what the status was on the new church property… are y’all going to build a school too? She said they may visit with us at our current location.

  6. Tosha says:

    Oh my! I felt pain just reading that! I can not begin to imagine. Here is to his quick recovery!

    mssc54 replied:

    Tosha: Fortunately (at the time of the electrocution) he didn’t feel a thing! That’s just amazing. He is doing remarkably well… some may even say “miraculous!”

  7. Des says:

    The internal burns that may not even be visible on the outside are what cause the most trouble. I work for a utility that typically transfers 500,000 volts across the northwest. Fortunately my job only has me in contact with 48 volts or less.

    mssc54 replied:

    Des: You are so correct about the internal injuries. “Providentially” our oldest daughter works at the hospital my friend was rushed to. She works in Medical Imaging and does the CT Scans and said that it was pretty scarry.

    48 volts…. “I speet at your 48 volts” ( a poor imitatation of a “B” movie line). Thanks for stopping by.

  8. lawyerchik1 says:

    Oh man. I am so thankful he is still alive – I hope he continues to do well with the rehab and recovery! Holy cow!

    Tell THAT to anyone who says they don’t believe in God!!!

    mssc54 replied:

    Lawyerchick1: It really is quite miraculous that he, not only survived, but is doing so well both mentally and physically!

    Holy cow is right!! 😉

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