Man Takes Extreme Measures to Save His Own Life
By: Crystal Britt
POPLAR BLUFF, Mo. --Kevin West has a rare blood disorder, which causes clotting. He's undergone multiple surgeries, many to replace the artery in his left leg. Earlier this week he returned home after yet another surgery---everything seemed okay until the artery burst. "Whatever you've seen on CSI was not as bad as what was in the house that day", said West.
45 year old Kevin West had just let out the dog, he says he was feeling great until. "Over by that wall there--I felt squishing in my shoes. I didn't know I was bleeding-then I felt my pajama pants wet. My pants were soaked and blood was pouring down all around me. This was a three foot area covered with blood and I pulled my pant legs up and the size of my finger it shot an arterial spray and hit the walls." His home is still stained with blood. He first tried to call for help on his cell phone, but it didn't work. "So I got here and thought, oh my God, I'm going to die. I'm going to die right here there was just blood everywhere", said West.
Unable to find anything to wrap his leg with, his instincts kicked in. "I reached in here and I remember digging a staple out--I don't know if I grabbed one or two and then I took my finger and pulled it apart and put my finger in the artery. I got in here and dug my second finger down on the artery. I got pressure on it and I got it to stop bleeding to where it was just trickling down my legs barely", said West. That's when he called 9-1-1. The transcript from the tape is as follows: "Rural Metro Ems. I need an ambulance immediately. I've had FemPop, and my artery has sprung a leak, and I've lost probably three units of blood already in my house. 80 Mocha Lane. 80 Mocha Lane? Yes, 80 Mocha Lane, on County Road 422. You've gotta hurry, I'm...I'm losing blood. Where are you bleeding from? From my knee, I just had an artery replaced. I'm going to lose consciousness. Okay, give me better directions real quick and I can get there faster".
Shortly after, the call to 911 ended. "I'm sitting here with the phone and they hung up on me....blood everywhere....and they hung up on me", said West. We asked Rural Metro about that and the director said it was likely a mis-understanding. When Kevin said he was applying pressure, the dispatchers felt the situation was under control. Kevin didn't see it that way. "They let me down--that can't happen because somebody will die."
Regardless, Kevin beat the odds---he could've easily bled to death. His surgeon at Southeast Missouri Hospital says he did the right thing. "He was smart enough to know to apply pressure to the area. He went to the emergency room immediately and was transferred here", (to Southeast Missouri Hospital) said Dr. Randy Brown. With a good prognosis...Kevin says he has a lot to live for...his family. "I was all alone it was the hardest thing I ever went through, but I wanted to live, I really wanted to live."