Victim of axe horror helps save herself ... and a friend

Victim of axe horror Emily Budinger SUS-170709-163444001
Victim of axe horror Emily Budinger SUS-170709-163444001

A teenage girl ended up with an axe embedded in her leg during an horrific accident while she was chopping wood while camping.

Emily Budinger, 16, was cutting firewood when the horror unfurled and the axe sank deep into her shin. And as blood poured from the wound, one of Emily’s friends fainted at the sight.

But cool-headed Emily managed to perform first aid on herself, while also shouting instructions to another friend to help the girl who fainted.

And now Emily, from Ben Acres, Horsham, has been shortlisted for a St John Ambulance award because of her brave actions.

The accident happened at a camp at Sasamat Lake in Canada in August last year. “I’d found a good chunk of wood, and began to chop the firewood,” said Emily, a student at Collyers College. “I went to take another swing but was startled by a snapping branch and missed the firewood. Suddenly I realised the axe was not on the chopping block. I couldn’t see the blade, either. The axe was inside my leg.”

Emily, who learned first aid as an Army Cadet with Sussex Army Cadet Force, let go of the axe and blood started flowing down her leg. She said: “I could feel myself begin to go cold. I don’t remember how I had the clarity of mind to lay myself on my back but next thing I knew I was laying on the dirt with my leg raised. I had a bandanna on my wrist, and so I untied it and pushed it into my wound. Everything was on auto-pilot, I remember that my only thoughts were making sure I didn’t lose consciousness. I compressed the wound and yelled for a first aider.After what felt like forever my three friends turned the corner and stopped in their tracks. Suddenly one of them went down hard onto the ground; they’d fainted.”

Emily shouted at one of the others to get a camp leader and told another to put the fainter in the recovery position while checking her breathing.“I was beginning to feel myself go into shock. I could feel my pulse in my ears, and I was beginning to feel myself get panicky. I tried to reason with myself, saying that the fact I was even thinking coherently enough to think of this was a sign I was going to be okay. But I could feel myself losing blood and the pain of the wound was starting to burn and stab ferociously. I asked if I was looking pale. I checked my pulse and kept breathing deeply.”

Thankfully, a youth leader arrived and Emily was rushed to the nearest hospital.