Friday, 06. March 2015
22. 08. 14. - 16:00
These are the first pictures showing the amazing recovery of Russian man Artur Hovhannisyan, 24, after a huge wooden fencing post punched out his left lung and left him fighting for his life.
Images of him being taken into hospital with a huge chunk of wood still protruding from the left side of his chest make it seem as if it is impossible that he would survive.
But as the latest photos taken a year later show after remarkable work by his medical team he is now back up on his feet and glad to be alive.
He said: "I don't remember a lot about the night of the accident which was a year ago now. I know that I lost control of the car and crashed into the fence outside my house."
Neighbours at his home in Uryupinsk, a town in Western Russia's Volgograd Oblast region, rushed outside to find that dozens of slates from the roof of the house had fallen onto the car and the 4 metre wooden post had smashed into the young man.
He added: "I remember briefly the incredible pain and then I passed out, apparently because I had lost so much blood. It was a 4 metre wooden post and they had to cut it free before they could put me in the ambulance. I was completely impaled."
His mother Olga Okuneva, 49, said: "The medics were on the scene in under a minute time, as purely by chance they were in the area. I believe that the fact they were there so quickly saved his life initially. I don't think he would have survived very long without expert help with such a horrific injury.
"My husband, Aleksey, ran to help the medics cut the wood with a chainsaw from a garden shed, so Artur could be transferred to the hospital as quickly as possible."
The ambulance had also radioed ahead where an expert team were waiting to carry out a three-hour operation in the middle of the night that saved the young man's life.
"He had lost a lot of blood and was in critical condition. It almost looked like a hopeless case but nevertheless we did everything we could, and it was fantastic that it worked," said surgeon Alexander Ivanov.
After only five days, Artur was transferred from the intensive care to a regular hospital room with a series of follow-up operations including surgery to remove the remains of his left lung.
But as far as Artur is concerned: "I am just happy to be alive. When a look at the pictures I can't even believe it's me. But it reminds me of how grateful I am to all the doctors and the people who were with me in the important moments of my life."
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