Man who had leg amputated after being shot by dog reveals how he nearly died

Man who had leg amputated after being shot by dog reveals how he nearly died

A former prominent college football player has revealed how he almost died after being shot by a dog during a hunting trip in Mississippi . Matt Branch, 30, and some friends were loading a utility terrain vehicle with hunting equipment when the black labrador retriever, named Tito, jumped on to the floor of the vehicle, stepping on a shotgun that had been placed there. The dog managed, somehow, to depress the gun’s safety mechanism and pull the trigger with his paw.
Branch, who played college football at Louisiana State University, was hit in the leg and was unconscious for 12 days. He had to have his entire left leg amputated and was operated on nine times. Describing the accident, which occurred in December on an annual duck hunt with friends and family near Eagle Lake, west of Jackson, Branch, from Monroe, Louisiana, said it was not until he saw the hole in the car that he realized what had happened. He told the Clarion Ledger: “I kind of looked around at the shock of everyone else. I looked down and saw the gaping hole in the Ranger [the vehicle the group was using] bed next to me. That’s when I knew I was shot.”

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Branch said he remembers a loss of feeling in his leg immediately after he was shot, until his body was overwhelmed by blood loss and trauma. He said: “I remember pretty much everything about that day up until about an hour after the accident. I passed out, passed away – whatever you want to call it.”

After returning to consciousness almost a week later he could not feed himself or sit up, and he experienced phantom pains.

He said: “For several days they didn’t know if I would live or die, so I was happy to be alive, rather than mad I lost my leg. I kind of accepted it and tried to figure out what I needed to do to get out of the hospital.”

After being fitted with a titanium prosthetic leg, Branch is walking again, back at work and intends to carry on hunting.