Scott Walsh, a 22-year-old Colorado man, only wanted to help a friend retrieve her lost phone, The Denver Channel reported.
That good deed nearly killed him.
It was Friday evening, and Walsh was at an apartment complex near Union Station in Denver when a friend’s phone fell down a trash chute, The Denver Post reported.
Walsh leaned into the chute to look for it, but lost his balance and plunged headfirst to the bottom floor, according to the paper.
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The compactor at the bottom, which was activated by his weight, powered on and crushed Walsh, fracturing parts of his skull and breaking bones in his legs and torso, according to the Denver Channel.
“I saw him come out of the trash compactor,” said one of Walsh’s friends Matt Johnson, according to the station. “It wasn’t a very good scene. He’s very lucky to be alive.”
The accident happened at about 1 a.m. when Johnson called 911, and police brought Walsh out of the machine and took him to the hospital, the Denver Post reported. The apartment complex said it was aware of the accident and police said they did not find anything suspicious, according to the paper.
Liz DiSalvo, a friend of Walsh’s who also witnessed the scene, wrote on Facebook that Walsh had survived but faced a long road to recovery.
“He miraculously survived but with almost every bone broken. He has a huge heart and has always helped others and now we can help him with his huge financial burden he’s about to have with so many surgeries and recovery ahead,” she wrote.
A GoFundMe for Walsh raised a little less than $5,000 of its $50,000 goal after three days.
“His legs are broken, his skull is cracked on two sides, the arteries in his neck are ruptured, and facial injuries. Many surgeries are needed and he will be out of work for a long time and will need to go through physical therapy. He is very lucky to be alive and he has a long road of recovery ahead of him,” the GoFundMe says. “He’s always been one to help others and now we have the chance to help him relieve some of his financial burden so he can focus on healing.”
On Friday, DiSalvo wrote that friends had gone to visit Walsh in the hospital and were able to see him awake.
“He wasn’t able to talk back but he could squeeze our hands and give a thumbs up. Nurses told us this was the best day he’s had yet and they are hoping to take out his breathing tube very soon,” she wrote. “We told him about all the love and support him and his family are getting from all of you and about the gofundme and a tear rolled down his face. I read him the comments you have all left on here and I know just that alone is going to help him keep going.”