Tuesday, September 28, 2004
A Steamboat Springs man who suffered severe blood loss when he punctured his leg with a hunting arrow Saturday night is in good shape, his brother said Tuesday.
Sam Spillane, 18, severed his Achilles tendon and sliced an artery in his leg when he accidentally stepped on the broad tip of an arrow while cleaning an elk he killed.
He was transported to Yampa Valley Medical Center and was flown to St. Anthony's Hospital in Denver, where he was given blood transfusions and underwent several surgeries to reconnect the artery and tendon, his brother, Johnny Spillane, said Tuesday.
Johnny Spillane expected his brother and parents to be home from the hospital this week.
Sam Spillane, a student at Lowell Whiteman School, was hunting about 4.5 miles off of Buffalo Pass Road, south of the Rocky Flats area, with friends Dillon Dennis, 18, and Clay Whiddon, 17. After killing the elk, the three propped up the animal with a hunting arrow for cleaning, Whiddon said Sunday.
While cleaning the elk, Sam Spillane accidentally punctured the animal's stomach, which released bad smelling gases, causing him to back away and into the arrow tip, which had somehow been exposed in the process, Whiddon said.
Sam Spillane's leg bled badly from the 1-inch diameter arrow, which entered his leg behind the ankle and came out the other side, said Whiddon, who, with Dennis, elevated Sam Spillane's leg and applied pressure to the wound before using Whiddon's cell phone to call for help.
While Whiddon hiked to meet rescuers, Sam Spillane pulled the arrow out of his leg, Whiddon said.
Within an hour, officials from the Colorado Division of Wildlife, Routt County Search and Rescue and the Steamboat Springs Fire Department were on the scene.
Rescuers carried Sam Spillane on a stretcher over steep terrain before reaching four-wheelers that took him to a waiting ambulance, Search and Rescue member Randall Hannaway said Sunday.
Sam Spillane has good feeling in his foot, an indication that the arrow did not cut a major nerve, one of doctors' concerns, Johnny Spillane said.