Sunday, May 11, 2008

Dude gives himself a tracheotomy with steak knife

The 55-year-old Omaha man who performed a tracheotomy on himself with a steak knife says he did the same thing to himself two years ago.

Steve Wilder said Friday that his throat is shrunken because of radiation treatments for cancer. Those treatments ended four years ago, but scar tissue remains. He said seasonal allergies may have caused his struggle to breathe overnight April 30.

"I didn't feel no pain. I was just trying to survive," Wilder said in his high-pitched, gravelly voice. "I got relief right away. There was a big gush of blood, and I was able to start sucking in air."

Wilder said he fell asleep watching television in his basement but awakened when he felt himself suffocating. His wife, Cora, called an ambulance. "I thought they might get here fast enough that I wouldn't have to do that," he said. "But I couldn't breathe no more." He bolted for the kitchen and picked up a steak knife and made a quarter-inch incision.



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