AIKEN COUNTY, S.C. (WJBF) – A sanitation worker lost his legs following an accident in Aiken County. “It’s only by the grace of God that I’m still here,” Matthew Lex told NewsChannel 6’s Aiken Bureau Chief Shawn Cabbagestalk.
On April 26, Lex was working on Pine Grove Road when he got hit by a car. He was pinned against the vehicle. The impact crushed his pelvis. “I was thinking about a whole lot of things. I was thinking about am I gonna go to walk? Am I gonna able have a normal life? I was kind of thinking about everything,” he shared.
“He’s 6’5, 6’6. Had he been shorter the way that truck hit his legs, he would not have survived. It would’ve hit his torso, and he would’ve bled to death,” his mother, Cheryl Welsh, added.
She remembers getting the phone call about him being in an accident. “I just felt numb. I almost collapsed. It was just the devastation of not knowing if my son was alive.
In the hospital, he was given more than 20 units of blood and placed on a ventilator. He’s had major surgery and faces more. The injuries were described as some of the worst medical staff has ever seen. “They had to end up amputating his leg. His left leg has a high leg amputation to the thigh. Then he has a below mid-calf amputation as well,” she recalled.
“I’m going to meet my legs in heaven. What’s up? Legs, ” Lex said, laughing.
The family is now planning to make modifications to their home. “Matthew’s bedroom, his game room, everything will happen on the second level. So we’re gonna have to make extensive modifications to accommodate a wheelchair. Even his bed will have to be probably a medical bed initially,” Welsh said.
She’s also pushing for more help for sanitation workers. “There are so many protection devices used for people who cut trees. We have school buses. They have things on the back to preserve, letting people know they’re there. But for sanitation workers, there’s nothing to protect them. There need to be devices in place, a cylinder or something going around them that no one should ever have to hit them.
Shawn asked Matthew, “What’s next for you?” “Whatever. I mean, just trying to walk again and do stuff like trying to walk, you know, walk again and get my life together. I have to enjoy life,” he said.
The community has put together a GoFundMe account to help with Matthew’s medical bills.
Meanwhile, both of them want workers and drivers to be safe, and they’re thankful for the medical staff at both Aiken Regional and the Shock Trauma Unit at Augusta University Health.