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Thursday, 26 May 2022 – A man who was crushed by a forklift begged surgeons and his family to help keep him alive even if he was just a ‘head on a plate’.
Loren Schauers, 20, from Great Falls in Montana, USA, was working in a forklift on a bridge in September 2019, but traffic forced him to get too close to the edge of the bridge, which made him plummet 50ft below and the forklift landed on him – severing his forearm and crushing his lower body.
When he got to the hospital, doctors were forced to perform a hemicorperectomy on him, meaning everything below his waist was amputated to save his life.
After the operation, healthcare professionals didn’t think Loren would make it and his family had to decide there and then if the doctors should save him by cutting him in half.
But while the family were having the conversation with doctors, Lore ‘miraculously’ woke up and begged doctors to perform the lifesaving operation.
Loren has now been living without his legs and right forearm for two years.
He receives help every day from his loving wife, Sabia Reiche, aged 23, and they both have a YouTube channel with over 500k subscribers, where they document shared aspects of their life.
Sabia opened up about finding out when doctors told the family they would be forced to amputate everything below Loren’s bellybutton.
She said to the Daily Star: ‘We were all like super shocked and none of us knew how to react and none of us knew how Loren would react because he’s an 18-year-old guy living life to the full.
‘And so there were fears in our heads that he wouldn’t want this surgery or would rather die than lose half of his body.
‘But his sister really fought hard to let him make that decision.’
Loren’s sexual organs have been removed as part of the surgery because his pelvis was also crushed.
Sabia said Loren’s mum was power of attorney before the operation and had a difficult decision to make.
‘She didn’t know whether to have the surgery done and for him to wake up and hate her for it, or not have the surgery done and he dies and then she feels like she killed her son,’ she added.
‘So his sister fought really hard for him to be taken off the breathing tube so he could make the decision.
‘After a day or two after consultations and talking, they took him off it and he woke up and he kind of had an idea what was going on.’
When Loren woke up in hospital he knew something terrible had happened to his body.
Surgeons told him ‘you’ll lose the lower half of your body or you may die in surgery’.
Sabia added: ‘From that moment I knew he wasn’t going anywhere because he looked them dead in the eye and told them he didn’t care if he was just a head on a plate, they’re going to do the surgery and they’re going to keep him alive.
‘That really brought a lot of hope for us, that he was a fighter, but we already knew that because he was still alive.’
Since the accident Sabia helps Loren with many day-to-day activities.
Sabia also hit out at online trolls who have questioned how the couple have sex.
‘That is a very personal question that we are never going to answer or allude to as it’s very disrespectful.
‘You wouldn’t ask a random couple on the street how they have sex and just because our life circumstances are different, it doesn’t give people the right to ask.’