A 33-year-old man fell onto a “pile of steel rods” earlier this month and miraculously survived. The Daily Mail reported last Thursday that the man, a construction worker from India, slipped off of the first floor of a building and was impaled by a steel rod, which measured over four feet long, from his testicles “through his entire body.”
Salim Sheikh had the steel rod removed during emergency surgery nearly two weeks ago, and his recovery is being called “miraculous.” Photos on the Daily Mail show how only one steel rod out of an entire pile of steel rods impaled Sheikh, entering his groin and exiting through his collarbone.
The New York Post reported that Sheikh only spent two days in recovery in the ICU, following the fall that reportedly caused his vitals to plummet due to internal bleeding. The local doctor in charge of Sheikh’s surgery, Ajay Bhandarwar, confirmed that the steel rod “narrowly missed” all major blood vessels, as well as the heart.
A photo on the previously mentioned New York Post article shows how the thin steel rod emerged out of Sheikh’s right collarbone. The steel rod’s trajectory sent it piercing through Sheikh’s body at an angle that started at the left side of his scrotum.
Surgeons reportedly decided the best way to remove the steel rod was through a procedure called an open laparotomy, which is an incision made “into the abdominal cavity,” according to Better Health. Doctor Ajay Bhandarwar explained that the open laparotomy allowed the steel rod to be safely removed without further damage to the “surrounding vital organs.”
According to Mumbai Live, Sheikh’s surgery took place on Friday, March 9 at the Sir JJ Group of hospitals in Mumbai, India. Sheikh was reportedly transferred to the government-run hospital after first receiving “preliminary treatment” at a civil hospital, as noted by the Daily Mail. The construction site where Sheikh fell at least nine feet onto the steel rod is located in the Indian town of Lasalgaon, which is about four hours northeast of Mumbai.
Other construction workers at the build site apparently heard Salim Sheikh cry out after becoming impaled and managed to use steel cutters to “cut the rod at its base,” leaving the rod inside Sheikh as he was rushed to a health clinic in Niphad about 12 miles away. The Daily Mail shared that Sheikh had to first be resuscitated and stabilized before being transferred over 100 miles from Niphad to Mumbai for “immediate surgery” to remove the steel rod.
The article on Mumbai Live details the damage done to some of Sheikh’s internal organs after the steel rod impaled the length of his scrotum to his neck. According to Mumbai Live, the rod pierced through Sheikh’s small intestine, through the right side of Sheikh’s colon, and through Sheikh’s liver before entering the diaphragm.
Once in Sheikh’s chest, the steel rod then impaled the right lung before exiting through Sheikh’s right collarbone. The article goes on to note that damage done to Sheikh’s internal organs was repaired during the five-hour surgery. A photo on the Daily Mail shows Salim Sheikh standing after surgery and looking well, despite being impaled through his testicles to “near his neck.” The Daily Mail also reported that Sheikh is “expected to make a full recovery.”
An article on Cracked from 2009 lists impalement as a fatal injury that “people somehow survive” when objects miss vital organs, as in Sheikh’s miraculous case. Sputnik News shared last Friday that Sheikh had slipped out of his safety harness when he fell onto the steel rod, leaving him “lying half-conscious in a pool of blood.”