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Life Star Flight Saves Man Life After Cutting Jugular Vein with Saw

CONNECTICUT — Shawn Bull, Ellington, Connecticut, Department of Public Works employee was cutting a riser for a catch basin with a gas-powered saw on June 10 when it kicked back, cutting his carotid artery and jugular vein.

As reported by Mass Live, thanks to his coworkers he was kept alive until Life Star air paramedics could arrive.


“It’s so nice to meet the people who helped me,” Bull said. “My first memory [after the incident] were the nurses asking me to move my hands to check what damage there was.”


Leaving from Westfield-Barnes Regional Airport in Westfield, the Life Star helicopter took only 10 minutes from the emergency call to arrive in Ellington, crewed by pilot James Kopcsay, paramedic Brendon Colt, and nurse Adam Dawidczyk.

Life Star critical care air medical transport service began operation in 1985 and provides care for patients within a 150 mile area, operating two Eurocopter EC145 helicopters. It provides 24-hour, seven-day-a-week emergency care.

“Without his colleagues first aid he probably wouldn’t be here today,” said Colt. “They were able to stop the bleed by packing the wound with their T-shirts and anything they could find. He’s extremely lucky to be alive.”

“We hope to be in the air within minutes of a call,” said Dawidczyk. “We are only called on when there’s serious trauma, so speed is important.”


“I got the call at work and when I heard what had happened I just dropped the phone,” Mrs. Rachel Bull said to MassLive. “We had lost his mother and my parents and I was just getting over my cancer. I couldn’t believe this was happening.”

Trauma surgeon, Dr. Reginald Alouidor, who performed surgery on Bull, said that from the moment the helicopter touched down at Baystate Medical Center, Bull was in the trauma bay within a minute and a half, and on the operating table within two.


“Because of the severity of Mr. Bull’s injury we went straight into surgery,” said Alouidor. “This was one of the worse cases that I’ve seen.”


“I have two more operations to undergo,” says Bull. “ One on my voice box and the other to repair the nerve damage in my neck and shoulder.”

Unable to lift his arm due to the nerve damage, Bull has a variety of medication that he now needs to take to help with the pain but is very happy to be alive.


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