After calling 911, rescuers combed the vast rail yard to find Truman alive and entangled in the wheels of the train. Truman was extricated and airlifted to a hospital, where doctors found all of his major organs intact. "When I first got the call [about] a man run over by a train, I thought I'd be coming down to, as usual, pronounce somebody dead," says Dr. David Smith, the ER physician on duty. "After a brief survey, my first thought was, 'Oh my goodness. This is a survivable injury."
Truman lived to tell his tale. Now, Miracle Detectives Dr. Indre Viskontas and Randall Sullivan are on the case to determine whether his survival story is a miracle, or the result of medical technology.
After enduring 23 operations in 42 days and many months of rehab, Truman returned to work at the rail yard. He lost all of his left leg and most of his right leg, parts of his pelvis and a kidney, and now relies on a wheelchair to get around. Dr. David Smith, the emergency room doctor who helped save Truman's life, tells indre that Truman's blood loss may have actually saved his life.
Dr. Smith says his low blood pressure shut down his body's system, sending him into preservation mode. "We let somebody's blood pressure stay low until we get them to the situation where we can control the bleeding," he says. "We don't try to heroically resuscitate somebody outside of the hospital."
Dr. Smith says the point at which the train severed Truman's body also preserved key organs. The train wheels did not cause a "cavitary" injury to Truman's midsection, keeping his heart, lungs, liver and one kidney in tact.