Nelson had accidentally cut an artery in his leg with a box cutter.
Arterial bleeding is characterized by blood spurts with each beat of the heart, is bright red in color and is usually severe and hard to control. Arterial bleeding requires immediate attention. A person bleeding from an artery could survive less than an hour without medical attention.
The quick thinking driver jumped in his truck and grabbed a roll of paper towels and started applying pressure to the wound and called 911.
Gaston realized he was not applying enough pressure to the wound when Nelson appeared to be going into shock, so he asked him to remove his belt. Gaston then wound the belt around Nelson’s leg like a and remained with him until paramedics arrived and transported Nelson to the hospital.
Nelson recovered from his injury.
For his efforts, Gaston was awarded the VFW National Life Saving Award, an award only given to those who save a life.
Martin Spani, VFW member, nominated Gaston and said, “He saved a guy’s life. Had Phil not gone by the home when he did, the guy would have bled to death.”
Gaston credits his quick thinking to a life-saving skills class he had 30 years ago.