Man drove himself to hospital after accidentally cutting his face and tongue in HALF with a chainsaw

March 14, 2019  19:16

An Australian grandfather was forced to drive himself nearly 33 kilometres to the nearest hospital after chainsawing his face and tongue in half.

Victorian man Bill Singleton, 68, told his wife Lynette he was just going out to chop some firewood and would be back home soon after. 

But within a matter of hours, surgeons were desperately working to sew his face back together, Bill's fight for life detailed in the podcast 'How I Survived'. 

Bill says he drove his ute through a solitary, winding dirt road before stopping to chop wood.

'I sussed out a couple of good logs of timber and went back to my ute,' he said.

'I had two chainsaws, a small one and a big one. I got the big saw out, started it up, and of course it roared into action.'

But instead of chewing cleanly through a log of wood, it ricocheted off and back towards Bill.

'I heard this crack. I didn't feel anything at the time, and I thought "oh my goodness".'

The chainsaw tore through his bottom lip and into his tongue, splitting his jaw and leaving blood pouring out.

To stem the blood, he pulled a handkerchief from his pocket and held it to his face.

Quickly losing blood, Bill began losing consciousness and dropped to his knees in the brush.

'Of course I said a few choice words to myself. I got to thinking, 'well, what's next?''

He had his phone in his pocket but couldn't call for help. Even if he got through to an ambulance, he had sliced his tongue in half and couldn't speak.

Instead, he determinedly crawled more than 40 metres to his car, where he patched himself up with gauze and a makeshift sling.

'What was I supposed to do? Sit myself down at the base of a tree and lean back and wait for the lights to go out?'

With one hand on the steering wheel and the other holding his face together, Bill drove 32 kilometres to the hospital.

There, a team of surgeons worked on him for hours.

He had lost most of his teeth, with the chainsaw hacking as far back as his wisdom teeth and his jaw had to be fitted with a metal plate.

Nerve damage left his tongue permanently numb, taking him weeks to learn to talk again.

He had come disastrously close to slicing through a main artery.

'If you had just scratched that or cut it, you wouldn't be here now,' Bill's surgeon told him.

After a three-week stint in hospital, Bill was allowed to go home. In a matter of days, he was already on his way back to get firewood.

‘Bill said to me, "If you fall off a bike, you get back on it," so that is what he said he's got to do with the chainsaw, go back out and get some more wood,’ Lynette said. 

Three years on, Bill has had two more operations to secure his metal jawline and to prepare his gums for new teeth.

He says the worst thing about the ordeal is that it's changed his diet, with Lynette saying: 'He's just dying for a steak.'


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