Tuesday, July 17, 2018

"Biblical" Donkey Nearly Kills Owner

UMMC issued the following press release.

The day Bobo the donkey bit his owner’s calf so hard he almost bled to death, Bobo probably thought he had it worse.

The two of them on July 8 marked the one-year anniversary of an experience that left a berserk Bobo acting like his world had ended. That could have been the fate of Bobo’s then-owner, Ray Gustafson of Eupora, if AirCare, Mississippi’s most advanced medical helicopter transport owned and operated by the University of Mississippi Medical Center, hadn’t responded with a powerful drug in its arsenal used to put the brakes on profuse bleeding.

Gustafson thought he was a goner.

“They put me in the helicopter,” Gustafson remembered about that afternoon. “Subconsciously, I was waiting to see the bright light at the end of the tunnel. What I do remember vividly is that all of a sudden, I got overwhelmed with a sensation of extremely hot air. I thought I was in hell.

“I started yelling, ‘Hey! I’m not supposed to be here! I’ve been a good boy. I’m supposed to be in heaven!’”

The day should have been a fun one. Gustafson a couple of hours earlier had taken ownership of Bobo from his neighbor, Dale Wilson, so that he could hook him to a cart and give rides to his granddaughter Haley, then an 11-year-old. “He is a big donkey, and a little dude,” 73-year-old Gustafson said of Bobo.

“I had put him in a stall in my barn, and I was taking nails out of a door so that I could open it and let him out into the pasture,” Gustafson said. “Unbeknown to me, there was a yellow jacket nest in the ground inside the stall. They starting stinging him and me both.”

Making matters worse were Gustafson’s dogs patrolling around Bobo’s stall. Donkeys despise dogs, and Bobo was still getting used to them being part of the landscape.

Bobo “grabbed my right ankle and chomped down on it. I had the hammer in my hand and slapped him over the neck so that he would let go, and he sat down on the ground on his rear end,” Gustafson said. “I had one more nail left. I tried to get him out the door and into the pasture, and he grabbed me higher up, right above my Achilles tendon and just below the calf muscle. He bit half my leg, and then pulled back.”

The donkey’s bite was bad enough, but made much more serious because Gustafson, a diabetic, takes anticoagulant drugs to keep his blood from easily clotting.

Haley was in the barn with him. “Bobo was rolling around. I turned around to keep working on that door to get him out of there, and Haley told me I was bleeding. I looked down, and the lower half of my leg was gone. You could see the bone and the tendons and all,” Gustafson said. “I said, ‘Haley, go get your grandmother. I’m not going to make it.’”

Betty, his wife of 52 years, came running. “About that time, I’d sat down on a bench from the bee stings and the loss of blood,” Gustafson said. “I passed out.”

Betty later filled him in on what happened next. She called Dale Wilson, the neighbor who’d given them Bobo that morning. “She called my son Jason, who’s done military medical training. He told her to get a cargo strap in the barn and put it above my knee and make a tourniquet out of it,” Ray Gustafson said.

“We thought he was gone. He’d turned gray,” Betty Gustafson said. Working together, she and Wilson wrapped the Army-green strap around Ray’s leg. “It was perfect. He almost went, but it wasn’t his time to go,” Betty said.

“I pulled it tight. He didn’t feel nothing,” Wilson said. “I said, ‘Betty, we’d better call 911. Ray ain’t looking too good.’ I thought, Ray ain’t going to make it.”

Scott Dean, a medic with North Mississippi Medical Center’s ambulance service, was the first responder on the scene, said Don Moore, who with fellow paramedic Brad Harper manned the AirCare flight summoned by Dean. That in itself was a game-changer for Ray.

Dean “knew what we had to offer,” Moore said. “One of the first things we thought was: How bad could it be? We weren’t expecting to walk into as serious a situation as we did.”

Moore and Harper traveled to Eupora from AirCare’s Columbus base. AirCare also flies from bases in Jackson, Meridian and Greenwood. After a 10-minute flight, they were met with a grisly scene. Gustafson “didn’t have the top third of his calf muscle. (Bobo) bit it through his pants and pulled it off,” Moore said.

Dean “leaned forward and was on the progressive side of medicine,” Moore said. “He had been able to talk to us early via radio, and to paint a picture of how sick Mr. Gustafson was and that he was on blood thinners. He knew what to tell us, and how to tell us.”

“He was a deadweight,” Betty said of her 250-pound husband. “It took four of us to load him on the stretcher.”

The ambulance met AirCare at the Eupora hospital, a campus of North Mississippi Medical Center. Moore and Harper quickly tested the level of anticoagulants in Gustafson’s system. It was high. “We started blood and liquid plasma,” Harper said. AirCare, unlike many air medical transports, always carries blood and blood products.

At the same time, the AirCare team gave Gustafson two medications to stop, or significantly slow, the loss of what blood he had left, and to keep him from losing what was being transfused. One drug was tranexamic acid, or TXA, commonly used to reduce bleeding by stabilizing the body’s response to trauma and blood clotting.

The other, however, was a medication carried onboard very few medical air transports nationally: prothrombin complex concentrate, often referred to by the trade name Kcentra, used in urgent situations to reverse anticoagulant drugs in a patient’s system. It’s reserved for acute major bleeding that occurs during trauma or urgent surgery on those traumatically injured.

AirCare is the only medical helicopter transport operating in the state that stocks and administrates prothrombin complex concentrate, or PCC. It and TXA “both have the same goal, but they work differently in the body to stop bleeding,” Harper said.

AirCare has given PCC more than 120 times since it began stocking it in 2014. “We were the first to be carrying this medication in the country, and we are one of the few (transports) in the country that has a protocol to deliver it,” said Dr. Damon Darsey, UMMC assistant professor of emergency medicine and a former AirCare paramedic. Academic Emergency Medicine Journal in October 2017 published an article written by a team of UMMC emergency physicians, a pharmacist and a toxicologist detailing the Medical Center’s program.

“By giving it in the field, we are saving a significant amount of time,” Darsey said. “Not all hospitals in the state have it. Some call us to give it, because we can give it so much faster.”

“If we had not had those two drugs, and the blood and plasma, I don’t think he would still be here,” Harper said of Gustafson.

The AirCare team also gave Gustafson IV antibiotics. “Farm animals are dirty,” Moore said. “Bites can be highly infectious. Antibiotics, started early, can have a significant impact. We were able to do all of that in 25-26 minutes.”

AirCare’s goal is to transport injured or sick patients to the nearest level of care they need. In this case, it was NMMC’s main hospital in Tupelo. Gustafson said he believes the rush of hot air that met him when he was unloaded there after a 25-minute flight made him believe he’d arrived at the doors of hell, rather than the pearly gates of heaven.

“It was a good one,” Gustafson said of the AirCare flight. “It took me from Eupora, to hell, then to heaven. They tell me I lost five and a half pints of blood.”

Gustafson believes Bobo’s bites brought him nearer to death than any of his former ills. “I’ve had two strokes, a quadruple heart bypass, three heart attacks, a spinal operation, a double knee replacement and 35 laser eye surgeries,” he said.

Bobo is a “Biblical donkey” because he has a cross marking on his back, Gustafson and Wilson say. “I blame myself for it,” Wilson said of his friend’s injury. “He is a good donkey. He don’t have a mean bone in his body.”

His calf and ankle have just about healed, save a small spot of scab, Gustafson said. “My neighbor came down and took Bobo back,” he said. “My granddaughter and I go down there and pet him. But, I stand farther back than I used to, and we make sure that Dale stands in between us.”

“Because of the training we do at UMMC, everything went very smoothly,” Moore said. “I can count on one hand the times each year that we can say, hands down, that we saved the person’s life.

“This was one that we snatched back from the jaws of death.”

22 comments:

Anonymous said...

Scary. Francis the Stalking Mule. Be afraid. Hee Hee Hee, Hee Haw. It was nearly, Pffft and He was Gone.

Anonymous said...

Great Story!

Anonymous said...

My sides are aching!

Anonymous said...

Wow! What a story!

Anonymous said...

So he put a donkey into a stall full of yellow jackets, with rusty nails in the wall. And when the yellow jackets started stinging the both of them, he kept working on the nails rather than let the donkey out. When the donkey got mad and bit him the first time, the guy hit him in the neck with a hammer ? Did I understand correctly? He hit the donkey with a hammer? If someone hit me with a freaking hammer, I would seek revenge just like that donkey did.

Anonymous said...

Farm animals are dangerous. I was visiting my dad in the hospital icu & the woman in the next icu room was fighting for life with broken ribs & a collapsed lung. She had enter a pasture with a bunch of cows & a mother cow attacked her. She was butted several times before she made over the fence.Farm animals can kill you.

none said...

The sad part is that they now have a big bill to the air ambulance because insurance only pays about 20% of the cost and you get stuck paying it. They are not bound by state law so they don't have to accept assignment. Patients are usually not able to negotiate prices or refuse transport while requiring urgent medical care. Refusing service is not an easy choice when trained medical staff has determined an air ambulance is a medical necessity.

Many insurers will pay what they deem reasonable use of an air ambulance; however, sometimes the air ambulance company and the insurer disagree on the cost. Depending on circumstances, the remainder of the bill—which could run in the thousands of dollars—could be your responsibility.

Medicare may pay for air ambulance services if the medical emergency requires immediate and rapid transportation that ground transportation couldn't provide. In addition, Medicare may only cover ambulance services to the nearest medical facility and won't provide coverage for medical care outside the U.S.

Anonymous said...

UMMC is in some serious damage control mode regarding their public relations. Blue Cross has dumped them, and they're being exposed for over-billing practices that have gone unaddressed for decades. The university itself is even trying to rebrand itself as friendly to incoming African-American students because their enrollment with that demographic has been plummeting. Serious leadership problems abound because their identity quite simply should not even exist anymore. "Ole' Miss' refers to the mistress of the Big House on the Plantation, and "Rebels"refers to those confederate numbskulls still trying to prevent desegregation and are proud of their heritage of hate. As long as they UM is exposed for profiteer ing off of, and pandering to the Mississippi masses, the more they become increasingly out of touch with who they're supposed to be.

Anonymous said...

Wow....just wow. Only a leg humper could turn an ass bites man story into an anti Ole Miss screed...

Anonymous said...

I am pretty set about not unnecessarily hurting animals, but if that donkey had bit my calf off, I'd be sending him to join Jesus and Uncle Versey Ledbetter's blind mule, Della. And that donkey didn't bring in 20 good crops, neither.

Anonymous said...


@ 4:33.

You took a story about a donkey and turned it into a racial arrow to shoot at UMC.

Nice.

Now go back to your Starbucks and MSNBC.



Anonymous said...

4:33, you don't sound biased at all. I'd love to hear more of your hot take on how a hospital is evil because your football team sucks.

Anonymous said...

Good grief guys.....above the story posted was statement, "UMMC issued the following press release." The stupid story is supposed to distract you from all the skulduggery that UM/UMMC are rife with. Apparently it worked for you lame brains that are easily entertained. Don't you ever ask, "Why am I reading this?"

Anonymous said...

Biblical donkey? Must of been Old Testament.

Anonymous said...

So @6:30 gets the "idiot of the year" award. He/she reads a story (quite an entertaining story btw), comments on the story and as part of his/her comment tries to ridicule those who read the same story by saying "Don't you ever ask, 'why am I reading this?'". Well idiot boy/girl, as a matter of fact I did ask that question - right after reading your idiotic comment. Don't you ever ask, "why am I an idiot?".

Anonymous said...

Does Jackson Jambalaya get a fee from UMC to publish this advertisement?

Anonymous said...

This is not a JOKE...Donkey hide demand in China are in danger of making Donkeys extinct...only 44 million left worldwide
May 2018
China is killing the donkeys too.. Hundreds of thousands of donkeys are stolen, slaughtered and skinned in Africa to feed China's demand for 'anti-ageing' medicine...... Known as 'ejiao', the Chinese medicine is made from boiling down donkey hide... Unfortunately, donkeys in Africa are more important than trucks in the US...the prices have skyrocketed...around 400,000 are slaughtered in Kenya each year alone
NAIROBI, Kenya — “This is the spot,” said Morris Njeru, gazing down at a tangled patch of farmland where he recently found the bloody corpses of David, Mukurino and Scratch — his last donkeys. Mr. Njeru, 44, a market porter who depends on his animals to ferry goods around this city, had already lost five donkeys earlier in the year. In each case, the thieves slit the animals’ throats and skinned them from the neck down, leaving the meat to vultures and hyenas. While ejiao has been around for centuries, its modern popularity began to grow around 2010, when companies such as Dong-E-E-Jiao — the largest manufacturer in China — launched aggressive advertising campaigns. Fifteen years ago, ejiao sold for $9 per pound in China; now, it fetches around $400 per pound

The substance was once affordable only by royalty, because one donkey yields 2.2 pounds of e'jiao.

Only 30 years ago, China had 11 million donkeys — the largest herd in the world — but the number has dwindled to between 3 million and 5 million, despite intensive breeding programs.

'I like my donkeys. They help a lot and are dear to me,' said Jeffrey Chingodza, 65, as he put a yoke on a donkey.
'I won't sell for export to Chinese abattoirs,' he said.
His son 20-year old son Tawanda, however, said surging prices are tempting.
'When you have a car and you get the first buyer saying 'I will give you $3,000 for it and the second buyer says I will give you $6,000,' what would you do?' Tawanda said.
'I will definitely sell. All of us want money.'

A. Nephew said...

Ahhh, brings back memories from stories I was told of the pair of mules my Dad worked with growing up on the family farm in Forrest County back in the 20's and 30's. One of the mules was named "Pat" and the other one was named "Webber". Pat he said was a small mule, pretty easy to handle. Webber on the other hand was a very large mule that handled the really tough jobs and when he decided he'd had enough there wasn't any more work done until he was ready.

"Pat" got his name from Pat Harrison.
"Webber" got his name from T. Webber Wilson.

Never knew the man as he passed when I was very young, but apparently Granpa had a sense of humor. I recently lost my Dad at age 98, but just last week had the chance to hear those old stories once again from his 100 year old brother. We both miss my Dad dearly.

Anonymous said...

@10:10pm Name calling? That's all you got? It's a fact organizations use the media with feel-good stories like this one to distract folks away from the hard facts they don't want you to see, or apparently like with you, to actually think too deeply about. UMMC is a mess and everybody knows it. The university also has major image distortions in relationship to those it's supposed to serve. Pretty simple.....and has nothing to do with football.

Anonymous said...

The UMMC PR person writes well. Good story

Anonymous said...

The UMMC PR person has been given their marching orders to change their image/perception by the public - or clean out your desk. Yes - well written "story", but UMMC remains in trouble. People are tired of being told "stories" - especially about their medical bills and poor quality service.

Anonymous said...

4:27, I believe UMMC does not bill a patient more than insurance, if he or she has any, will pay for air ambulance services. Other air services do send exorbitant bills. I’m glad this man survived and glad our state has a network of air ambulances. I toured the UMMC facility once. Extremely impressive. They can be anywhere in the state in relatively little time, speaking real time to responders at the scene as well as the air medics and in-hospital staff, and they can do incredible, life-saving things on these helicopters or bring these services directly to a trauma scene if the patient doesn’t have to be transported. They are very good at what they do.

For those of you complaining about this being PR, how many of you would have known about this service had they not issued the release? You can put your own spin on why they did such, but at the very least you know something you didn’t. Some people think that’s a positive thing.

And no, I do not and have not ever worked for UMMC. I have been a patient and have a child who was a patient. P.S. Their direct state tax funding goes to the medical school, not the hospital.

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