Minnesota man lucky to be alive after hunting accident

Mitchell Amundson of Dilworth, Minnesota is lucky to be alive.

“Unfortunately, I remember the accident,” Amundson said.

The day after Thanksgiving, 26-year-old Amundson was involved in a serious hunting accident outside of Jamestown, North Dakota.

“As soon as it happened my legs went numb and all of a sudden I was like, ‘Wow, that really hurts,'” he said.

While chasing coyotes with a friend, he was shot through the right flank, with the bullet exiting his left side. He began to bleed internally and the fight for his life began.

“The phone rang and it was the paramedic from Jamestown Hospital who called me and I got the words that no mother ever wants to hear, you know, ‘We have your son here in the ER. He’s in extremely critical condition,'” said Deanna Amundson, Mitchell’s mother.

flight of his life

Mitchell’s wounds were so severe that Jamestown Hospital was unable to save him. So they called Sanford AirMed to take him to Sanford’s Level I Trauma Center in Fargo. Mitchell’s heart stopped several times, including at least once in the helicopter. He also lost more than four liters of blood. The human body contains five.

“The helicopter crew is not just a means of transportation,” said Enej Gasevic, MD, a trauma and surgical critical care specialist. “These are professionals at the highest level.”

dr Gasevic was one of several trauma and critical care surgeons at Sanford Fargo who worked on Mitchell, and he said every step went according to plan, which was critical in saving Mitchell’s life.

“He probably would have died if one of those things hadn’t gone the way it did. He had a critical injury, he had a large blood vessel that ruptured. The crew at Jamestown was able to start damage control immediately. The helicopter crew did their job and kept him alive throughout the journey here. When he got here, everyone did more than enough. And then he got lucky,” said Dr. Gasevic. “He tried to die multiple times and he’s still there to tell the story.”

“My baby is still here”

Even after he was stabilized, doctors still didn’t know if Mitchell would regain his brain function. But three days after his accident, he began to stir.

“The nurse took his hands and said, ‘Mitchell, can you squeeze my hand?’ And he squeezed her right hand. And she said, ‘Can you move your toes, wiggle your toes?’ And he was flexing his left toes,” Deanna said.

“My baby is still here. I didn’t know if I would leave the hospital without a child… and I got mine back. I can’t thank these people enough. The right people were in the right place at the right time to save his life time and time again,” she said.

After 20 days in Sanford, Mitchell finally went home. He’s moving slowly now, but he’s recovering. And he says he wants to go hunting again as soon as he can.

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Posted in Emergency Medicine, Fargo, Jamestown, Rural Health


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