| Last updated
A teenager who was involved in a horrific forklift accident survived after making the brave decision to have the bottom half of his body amputated.
Loren Schauers, 19, was driving a forklift across a bridge when it plummeted 50ft to ground, pinning him under the four-ton vehicle.
He was conscious the whole time, seeing his right arm crushed and the bottom half of his body stuck under the vehicle.
The labourer decided to have a hemicorperectomy - meaning everything below his waist was removed in order to save him.
His girlfriend, Sabia, now 21, was given the devastating news that he wouldn't survive and said goodbye to him six times, having been told he wouldn't live another day.
He pulled through though, and the pair, who had been together for 18 months when the accident happened, said the whole thing brought them closer together, and they got engaged earlier this year.
Loren, from Great Falls, Montana, said: "It wasn't a hard choice to have half of my body amputated - it was basically a choice of living or dying.
"With Sabia assuring to stay by my side no matter what and all my immediate family being around me, it really wasn't a hard choice for me!"
The accident happened in September 2019, when he was forced to the edge of a bridge by passing cars, which then crumbled beneath him.
He then tried to jump from the forklift as it fell but his leg got trapped by the seatbelt, dragging him down the steep hill. It rolled three times before landing on top of him at the bottom.
The doctors initially thought they could save his lower extremities, performing surgery that left his right hip, genitalia and left thigh. But they realised his pelvis was too crushed. They also tried to save his sperm, so he could have children in the future, but it wasn't viable.
Sabia said: "There were many heartfelt, teary, sad conversations within the span of the first month of him being in hospital.
"The first time we said goodbye was before his surgery but he still had his intubator in so he was writing to us as he couldn't talk.
"The night before his surgery, he wrote 'I love you' on a piece of paper as it could have been our last night together. I still have that piece of paper today.
"The doctors would say he was going to die, we'd have a goodbye conversation and then he wouldn't die.
"It sucked, to put it blatantly, we hated it. His health was teasing us, like 'haha we're fine now but going to die soon so you'll all be sad', but then he lived."
His health improved dramatically - doctors thought he'd be in hopsital for at least 18 months, but he was out after three, with four weeks in rehab, before he could go home.
Currently unemployed, Loren got compensation, but would like to be a Twitch influencer - a video live streaming service.
Earlier this year, Loren proposed to Sabia and the engaged couple plan to get married on their anniversary date of 17 July, in either 2021 or 2022.
Loren said: "My best advice to anyone going through something like this is that you can't focus on the things you can't have and you must live your life to the fullest with what you do have."
Chosen for YouChosen for You
Most Read StoriesMost Read