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I died six minutes after being crushed by 10,000 pounds of concrete – my eye popped out and my friends held my head together – The US Sun

A father who died six minutes after his head was crushed by a concrete block has told how his friends held his skull together to keep him alive.

Mike Wolo, 52, was at work when a 10,000-pound piece of rock fell on him, widening his face just two inches and blowing one of his eyes out of socket.

Mike Wolo died for six minutes when a 10,000-pound piece of concrete crushed his faceCredit: Mike Wolo
Only a small piece of wood prevented Mike from being decapitatedCredit: Mike Wolo
Mike has “no regrets” and believes his experience put him on the path to meeting his wife BeccaCredit: Mike Wolo
Mike’s surgeon gave him only a two percent chance of survivalCredit: Mike Wolo

He was left so disfigured that friends could not find his mouth to perform CPR and witnesses said his head resembled a “mushroom about to burst.”

Mike’s lifeless body hung limp as he was pressed against the wall for six terrifying minutes.

Frantic bystanders tried to find a way to free the father of two, but time was running out and his heart had stopped beating.

Mike, from Massachusetts, was 32 years old at the time of the horror accident and worked as a kitchen designer.

His friend worked trucking granite and would sometimes call him as a favor to ask him to help.

He initially declined the offer and only showed up at the last minute, assuring himself that it would be the last time.

Although he knew the task was dangerous, Mike never expected that he would end up looking like a “Walking Dead Cast Member” and almost be decapitated.

He spoke to The Sun about the nightmare and his long road to recovery.

Mike was working in an open trailer, while the huge concrete slab lay nearby waiting to be moved by a crane operator.

Before he even got off the ground, Mike heard his friend scream and, confused, he started running towards the exit of the container.

My face was torn off by a grizzly bear – I was forced to make a devastating choice while retaining pieces of my ear and scalp

But it was too late and the concrete block fell and crushed his head against the wall.

Everything went black for Mike – and it was now his friends’ job to try to save his life.

He told The Sun: “They realized they had to get me breathing again. But I had no mouth.

“They said everything was just sideways, and they could see inside my skull and all that.

“Three or four of them started taking turns holding my skull together.

“They said the blood was flowing out so fast. So they were just trying to keep everything together and put the parts in the right places.”

He added: “It just crushed everything, the only thing that stopped it from cutting off the rest of my head was a piece of wood.”

This image shows the aftermath of the accident after the concrete fell on MikeCredit: Mike Wolo
Mike’s face was squashed to less than two inches wideCredit: Mike Wolo

While still fighting for his life, Mike was airlifted to hospital and his family were told to ‘say goodbye’ as the surgeon only gave him a two percent chance of survival.

Mike’s injuries were so severe that the paramedics deemed him ‘an organ donor’ and were stunned when he later went to visit them in person and thanked them for saving his life.

Speaking about the extent of the damage, he said: “It hit me on my left temple and then tore off my entire face to just under two inches wide.”

As Mike’s devastated family prepared to say goodbye to him while he lay unconscious in a coma, he remembered having a strange dream.

He explained how a colleague had died suddenly months earlier and appeared before him on a tree trunk.

The colleague told Mike it “wasn’t his time” and asked him to look at his family for him.

And shortly afterwards, against all odds, Mike woke up writhing in pain.

He described the feeling of ‘horrific pain’, adding: ‘There are no words to describe what you feel other than your whole body screaming, it’s the most ridiculous pain.’

He remembers not being able to see as one of his eyes “popped out of his head” and his face was so swollen it was “bigger than a football or basketball.”

Mike’s mouth was wired shut and he was unable to speak or eat normally as he relied on a tracheostomy tube to breathe.

Three or four of them start taking turns holding my skull together. They said the blood flowed out so fast

Mike Wolo

His mother was so afraid of how he would react if he saw his reflection in the mirror that she tried to prevent anyone from showing it to him.

Mike said: “You saw people staring at you and looking shocked.”

“I remember the first time I saw myself in the mirror, you know the absolute horror of seeing how big and gigantic my head was, but it wasn’t symmetrical either.

“It was very misshapen and pointed at the top, and my left side was more extended than the right.

“And one eye, my left eye, which was blown out of my head, was put back in, but it moves on its own. It doesn’t move where I’m trying to look.

“In my right eye, all the blood vessels looked like the blood of a demon, a red eye.

Although Mike was awake, he wasn’t out of the woods yet and he died two more times during his hospital stay.

These came when his breathing tube became blocked and he began choking on his own blood.

One of these terrifying experiences happened while Mike was sleeping and a ‘crazy’ drug-induced dream meant it was actor Will Ferrell who woke him up and saved his life.

He described being in a car where a man in a suit tried to strangle him and that he was “losing the battle.”

Mike said, “Out of nowhere, Will Ferrell starts banging on the glass of my window and yelling at me to wake up.”

After three major reconstructive surgeries and four weeks of being bedridden, Mike was able to leave the hospital with only one thing on his mind.

It hit me on my left temple and then tore off my entire face to just under 3 inches wide

Mike Wolo

He went to the ambulance station to surprise the crew who saved his life, revealing that he “scared the hell out of them”.

Mike said that when they heard he was alive, they thought it was a Halloween prank.

“I looked awful like a Walking Dead cast member with a brace on and a tracheal tube hole,” he explained.

Once out of the hospital, Mike continued to grapple with the mental side of his trauma and experienced crippling anxiety and depression.

He added that he had to stop working for “a few years” and that he felt “a burden on society”.

“Mentally I was traumatized. It took me eight years to feel safe in my new face,” Mike said.

Despite the horrific ordeal, he let nothing get in the way of his love for the outdoors and was back on a snowmobile just three months after his accident.

He also discovered a passion for football at the age of 40 and was invited to join the local semi-professional team to get back into shape after gaining “a load of kilos”.

Mike completed two full seasons with them before retiring.

He said that despite the enormous suffering and unbearable pain, he would not change anything about the accident.

“It gave me the path to follow,” he said.

“I’m a better person. I embrace life more. I look at things differently. I have absolutely no regrets.”

Mike attributes much of his strength in the aftermath to a sense of humor and self-acceptance, as well as a “great support system” and “great neighbors.”

It has been more than twenty years since the freak accident in 2003 and Mike is now happily married with two children.

He works in telecommunications, but hopes to inspire others through motivational conversations and has set up his own website.

Mike has two sons, ages eight and fiveCredit: Mike Wolo
Mike was back on a snowmobile just weeks after his accident, here he is with one of his sonsCredit: Mike Wolo
Mike started playing semi-professional football after the accidentCredit: Mike Wolo
An x-ray of Mike’s face after it was reconstructedCredit: Mike Wolo
Mike believes his accident has made him a better personCredit: Mike Wolo