A terrible accident on the Baie Verte Peninsula may cost a man his legs — but not his life — after a tree fell on him, severing his spine.
David Warren of Westport was out chopping wood on Feb. 11. His family grew concerned after he was gone longer than expected.
His friend Elizabeth Chip made a frantic search and found Warren pinned under the tree after hours in the bitter cold.
"I noticed his eyes were nothing, only pupils, and I knew he was really weak," says Chip.
"He would come in and go out," she said. "I had to make the decision of if I was going to warm him with my body, or if I was going to go for help. And I was really scared that he didn't have enough time."
Chip ran at least three kilometres to get help and then return to the site.
She came back with Warren's wife Madina. They started a fire to beat back his hypothermia.
"He just kept saying, oh that feels so warm, oh that feels so warm, the whole time," Chip said.
Volunteer firefighters arrived and carried Warren out to the ambulance and on to St.John's. Warren is now paralyzed, and is expected to spend about the next six months there recovering.
Warren may never walk again, but Chip says the outcome could have been even worse.
"Madina still has her husband. I still have my friend. And right now, that's the most important part."
Chip and others are raising money for renovations so when the Warrens return home their house can be wheelchair accessible.