When a teen boy was crushed in a bizarre accident, he was left fighting for his life. However, after making the crucial decision to amputate more than half of his body, he wants the world to see what he’s capable of doing.
Loren Schauers was just like most other American teens boys. He had a promising future with loving friends, a beautiful girlfriend, and a zest for life. Tragically, everything changed in an instant when he suffered a near-fatal accident, causing him to make the toughest decision of his young life.
The 19-year-old was operating a forklift truck in Montana when he veered off a bride in order to avoid an illegally passing car, plummeting 50 feet to the ground below, according to the Daily Mail. To make matters worse, the 8,000-pound vehicle landed on top of him and pinned him, completely crushing his body below the waist. He even remembers watching his right arm explode as 4 tons of heavy machinery crashed down upon him.
Incredibly, Loren didn’t die. He was transported by an emergency helicopter to a hospital where doctors gave him a devastating ultimatum — either amputate half his body and possibly survive or wait to die. Loren made the nightmarish decision to allow surgeons to perform a hemicorperectomy, severing him at his mid-section and his right arm at the elbow. Still, doctors told the teen to say his goodbyes, fearing that he wouldn’t make it.
Against all odds, Loren surprised doctors by not only surviving his critical injuries and the risky surgery but actually recovering better than expected. Despite his devastating disability, Loren and his girlfriend, Sabia Reiche, say the accident has even brought them closer together, leading to their engagement.
“Every medical professional I come across is pretty amazed by everything, especially with the story that comes along with my injuries,” he said. “It wasn’t a hard choice to have half of my body amputated – it was basically a choice of living or dying.”
The surgeons first tied off all of Loren’s major arteries and veins below his waist. Unfortunately, they quickly discovered that his pelvis was completely shattered and unsalvagable. It was then that they put forth the option to amputate his lower half.
Unbelievably, Loren’s health began to rapidly improve. What was expected to be 18 months in the hospital turned into just 3 months with 4 weeks of rehab before he was fully released. He was given a prosthetic to support his waist, another for his arm, and a wheelchair to get around.
All the time, Sabia stayed by Loren’s side, promising never to leave. She gushed over his remarkably positive attitude in the face of such pain and difficulty.
“Any time an obstacle presents itself in our new life, he just finds any way around it and comes up with a wild solution that a ‘normal’ abled person wouldn’t normally think of,” she said. “If I was in his position, I’d probably just be a wallowing self pit of pity. So many people handle these things so differently and I feel like he’s really beat all odds, both mentally and physically.”
Sabia joked that there is “a lot more laying around” in their relationship than before. However, she added that the accident and Loren’s recovery have made them stronger together. Graciously, Loren offered a bit of advice for those who are suffering.
“My best advice to anyone going through something like this is that you can’t focus on the things you can’t have and you must live your life to the fullest with what you do have,” he said.
Loren and Sabia continue to document their journey together. They record their daily routines, physical therapy, and time together as well as answering general questions.
While Loren’s tale of survival is miraculous in and of itself, his perseverance and outlook on life are even more extraordinary. His is a story worth sharing.