NC: Man saves his own life after losing legs in crash
RALEIGH, NC (CNN) — Left with no other options, a former Marine took matters into his own hands when his leg was severed in a crash.
The North Carolina man called 911 and treated his injuries himself until paramedics arrived.
"First week I was here I got 10 to 15 minutes of sleep every 30 to 45 minutes," Jay Traylor told CNN.
It’s tough to get comfortable when you're hooked up to IV’s and monitoring machines.
But Jay Traylor is grateful to be at Duke Hospital, alive and holding his fiancée’s hand when just two weeks ago, his
SUV veered off Interstate 40 into a guardrail and down a hill.
Traylor was exhausted when he was headed home to Graham from Raleigh.
As he approached Hillsborough, he thought “maybe I should get out and stretch.” But he drifted off to sleep.
"That was my last thought before I woke up with the guard rail coming through the floor panel, between the gas and the brake pedal," Traylor explained.
The guardrail did not stop there. Traylor looked down at his right leg.
"I could see where the leg was severed but not the other part of it," Traylor said.
He was in tremendous pain. But the Eagle Scout and former Marine did not panic.
"I somehow found my cell phone and called 911 so they could start a GPS locater on me since I had no clue where I was at," Traylor said.
Then he had to stop the bleeding.
"I pulled my belt off to tie a tourniquet and I'm on the phone with the 911 lady explaining to her, 'We're running out of time. I'm bleeding out. I can feel this is going real bad, real quick,'" Traylor recalled.
Paramedics found Traylor's car and rushed him to Duke Hospital.
His fiancée, Sheila Black, has hardly left his side, "When you love someone, it's easy to do for them," she said.
Traylor had six surgeries, including the amputation of his other leg, because it was so mangled.
But that's okay for this electrician by trade.
"I can deal with the legs a whole lot better than if my hands came off," Traylor said.
"It was a big change but we'll make it through together," his fiancée said.
"I'll be hindered some, won't be back like I was. But it will still be a full, happy life," Traylor told CNN.
With his amputations below the knee, Traylor says he plans to use prosthetics to walk again soon.