MARSHFIELD (WAOW) -- A logger's worst nightmare -- one of his trees turns on him. After a tree fell on one man in 2007 and ripped off his leg, he didn't think he would make it out of the forest. Nearly four years later, he's alive and well. This week, he finally meets one of the men who saved his life.
"By all accounts, I should have died," said Gary Edinger. "I'd lost so much blood."
Edinger loves logging. So on a frigid day in February of 2007, he didn't think twice about braving the cold to take down some trees.
"A normal logger shouldn't have been out in the woods but I was," said Edinger.
As an independent logger, Edinger works alone. When a tree fell right on top of him, it severed his left leg below his knee. He managed to call 911, a miracle considering the remote cell service out in the woods, and paramedics flew to his rescue.
"The Spirit of Marshfield came and picked me up, hauled me out here to Marshfield and saved my life," said Edinger.
"It was real hard to find a pulse on him but he was still awake and talking," said David Martin, one of the flight paramedics who responded to Edinger's call.
Martin's been flying as a paramedic for about 20 years. When he saw Edinger's leg, he didn't know if he was going to make it.
"It would have been very possible that he could have bled to death before he got into the trauma services," said Martin.
But somehow...he did.
"Everything worked perfectly for that tree to shear my leg off and everything worked perfectly after that to allow me to live," said Edinger.
Now, almost four years after the incident, Edinger comes face to face with one of the men who helped keep him alive.
"Dave's a nice guy," said Edinger. "I just wanted to say thanks in person."
Just 10 months after his accident, Gary returned to the woods and has been logging ever since.
"I've been real lucky that way but see I'm a healthy person," said Edinger. "I'm just shorter on one side right now is all. Working in the woods is like that. If it don't kill you it only makes you healthier."
Gary wrote a book about his experience called "Will To Live: A Saga of Survival." For more information about his book or his incredible story, you can go to this website.