I was chopped in half by forklift – everyone asks the same stupid question
26th May 2022

A MAN sliced in two in a horror forklift crash begged doctors to save his life even if he was just "a head on a plate".

Loren Schauers was 18 when he veered off a bridge on a building site, fell 50ft and was pinned to the ground under the four-ton vehicle.



His right arm was severed and everything from his pelvis down was completely crushed.

His girlfriend Sabia Reiche, then 19, said goodbye to him six times as docs warned he would not make it.

And his family was asked to make the agonising decision on whether to let surgeons cut him in half.

The drastic hemicorperectomy op – amputating everything below the waist – was the only way to save his life but his mum and sister did not know if Loren would rather die.

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Eventually he regained consciousness and looked medics "dead in the eye" to make his wishes clear, Sabia recalls.

She told The Daily Star: “None of us knew how to react and none of us knew how Loren would react because he’s an 18-year-old guy living life to the full.

"And so there were fears in our heads that he wouldn’t want this surgery or would rather die than lose half of his body."

She said Loren's mum, his next of kin, was unsure what to do.

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Sabia said: "She didn’t know whether to have the surgery done and for him to wake up and hate her for it, or not have the surgery done and he die and her feel like she killed her son.

"So his sister fought really hard for him to be taken off the breathing tube so he could make the decision."

She said doctors agreed to wake Loren, and he was immediately aware something terrible had happened.

Surgeons then asked if he wanted the amputation, warning: "You'll lose the lower half of your body or you may die in surgery".

Sabia said: “From that moment I knew he wasn’t going anywhere.

“He looked them dead in the eye and told them he didn’t care if he was just a head on a plate, they’re going to do the surgery and they’re going to keep him alive.

“That really brought a lot of hope for us, that he was a fighter, but we already knew that because he was still alive.”

Loren said later: "It wasn't a hard choice to have half of my body amputated — it was basically a choice of living or dying."

Daily struggle

Two and a half years on Sabia, now 23, and Loren, 21, are married and live in Great Falls, Montana, US.

They have won legions of fans sharing details of their life together on YouTube.

She has to perform many daily tasks for Loren including changing his colostomy bags and showering him.

Sabia is raising money for a robotic arm to improve Loren's mobility.

But despite the life they have carved out together, people still pester them by asking how they have sex.

Loren's operation led to the removal of his genitalia as his pelvis had been completely crushed.

He previously said doctors had tried to save some of his sperm but decided it wasn't "viable."

Responding on a Q&A, Sabia said: "A question we get repeatedly is, how do we have sex and how do we become intimate?

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"That is a very personal question that we are never going to answer or allude to as it's very disrespectful.

"You wouldn't ask a random couple on the street how they have sex and just because our life circumstances are different, it doesn't give people the right to ask."




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