CHATHAM, Ont. — Being home for the holidays has a special meaning for construction worker Shaukei Oliveira, 47, who just two weeks ago was pulled into a cement mixer that ripped him open, leaving his heart and a lung exposed.
The accident occurred while Oliveira was working on a new home construction site on Dec. 14. In a matter of seconds, he suffered several broken ribs, a collapsed lung and severe cartilage and nerve damage.
He was rushed to hospital in Windsor, Ont., with a huge gash across his chest. Doctors told his family the wound left his heart and a lung visible.
Oliveira told QMI Agency he was using a trowel to scrap away excess mortar from the edge of the mixing barrel when the handle of the tool got caught on a mixing paddle. It lifted, caught his sweater and dragged him right in.
"I'm looking around thinking, 'Please, somebody come here,'" Oliveira recalled.
"When I went in, I didn't think I was going to come out.”