Tough Australian Grandpa Survives Chainsaw to the Face

Tough Australian Grandpa Survives Chainsaw to the Face

Courtesy Royal Melbourne Hospital press release.

Tea Smith, Staff Reporter

On May 6th, while working on his farm, an Australian man sliced the bottom half of his face open with a chainsaw. Yes, you read that right. 68-year-old Bill Singleton was working on his farm when he lost control of the chainsaw he was using. Remarkably enough he survived the severe injury by wrapping his head in a towel and driving to the closest town to search for a hospital.

Unable to call an ambulance for help because he sliced his tongue in half, Singleton crawled 164 feet to his car while holding his face together with a hanky. The Australian man then wrapped his head in a towel and drove fifteen and half miles to the closest town.

“I thought it would take too long to direct people up there,” Singleton said.“It was a winding, dirt road, and I’d seen nine kangaroos up there that morning. I couldn’t imagine them driving an ambulance up into that bush.”  He also was obviously having a great deal of trouble speaking.

When he made it to the hospital, Singleton managed to parallel park his car, which had a trailer attached to the back of it, and start walking toward the door.

“I was two thirds of the way there and things started to spin, the lights went dark,” Singleton said. “I dropped to my knees and was on all fours, resting for a bit. I couldn’t see anyone around. I couldn’t yell out. But I had to get back up again.”

Upon first glance, the hospital’s staff thought Singleton had been shot. When they looked at the injury, they saw that the chainsaw hit the the roof of his mouth and knocked out his top teeth slicing through his jaw going all the way to his wisdom teeth. The chainsaw caused severe damage, stopping only a single centimeter from the carotid artery.

Singleton was flown to a hospital in Melbourne and operated on by teams of plastic surgeons and maxillofacial specialists led by Associate Professor Alf Nastri. Nastri’s team clamped the arteries in the neck that had been severed, and made an emergency incision so that his airway stayed open while they operated on him.

After picking bone fragments from Singleton’s jaw, it was secured in place with a metal plate and screws, and the wound was closed.

Three weeks after the surgery, Bill Singleton has returned to work.

“You fall off a bike and get back on, don’t you? You’d drive a car after an accident,” Singleton said, according to the Melbourne Herald Sun. “I feel very lucky, but I’ve never been one to sit around.”

He’ll probably pay more attention when handling chainsaws from now on.