By: Yong B. Chavez
Filipino nurses on a picnic in a South Carolina park helped save a man after an alligator bit off his arm.
Members of the Bicol Assocation of Charleston were having a Sunday feast, eating and dancing, on September 16 when they saw a bloody Bill Hedden stumbling and grasping his left shoulder. The 59-year-old retired Navy master chief's arm was bitten off by a 550-pound, 11-foot-long alligator while he was snorkeling.
"We saw a guy bleeding profusely. We thought he was just kidding," said Jerome Bien, one of the Filipino picnickers.
Immediately, at least five Filipino registered nurses from the group rushed to his aid. They iced Hedden's wound and worked to stop the bleeding. They kept him awake until paramedics arrived, one of the nurses said to a reporter. Bien later saw the alligator in the lake with Hedden's arm still in the animal's jaw. Officials said that it was one of the worst alligator attacks in South Carolina's history.
"One of [the nurses] keep on encouraging him to breathe because he was turning blue," said Jo Masauding, one of the Filipino nurses on the scene.
A Department of Natural Resources contractor killed the alligator and retrieved Hedden's arm from the gator's belly but doctors were unable to reattach it. Hedden is currently recovering in a hospital and is now listed in fair condition.
Hedden is fortunate to be alive, thanks to the Filipino nurses picnicking nearby, CNN reported in its Heroes segment where the story was first featured.
Here's a video of this amazing story. Thanks to FilipinOnline contributor Art Pacho for the news tip.
[PHOTO: JEROME BIEN]