TOMBALL, Texas — Sitting on some 60 acres in Tomball, Ranch Manager William "Bill" Roenfanz has been bailing hay and steering cattle at Cedar Brook Farms for nearly 40 years.
“Since about 84," Bill said.
But just last weekend, he said an ordinary situation turned life-threatening in an instant.
“Saturday, at about nine o'clock, we started working this pen of calves over here. They're 11 calves in here.”
He says he was performing minor surgery on a calf like he’d done numerous times using a razor-sharp scalpel, except this time, it didn't go as planned.
“While I was working from the back here, the calf moved his leg and hit my arm and my arm come over and slit right across here," Bill said.
A gash on his wrist.
“About that long, just like I was trying to cut my thumb off," Bill said.
He thought some paper towels might help but quickly realized paper towels couldn't stop the bleeding.
“It didn't take 30 or 40 seconds and I realized my towels are already soaked through and as I went to get another set of towels, took my hand off and then it sprayed like that,” Bill said.
But luckily for Bill, he had a helping hand, specifically his new ranch hand, high school junior Shane Stevens, who realized Bill was in trouble.
“If you're squirting blood six inches, you have cut the major artery," Shane said.
So Shane – who trains with Special Forces – grabbed a first aid kit from his truck and quickly applied a tourniquet.
“Don't panic – panic creates chaos," Shane said.
After Shane drove him to a nearby Memorial Hermann satellite, Bill was transported by ambulance to the hospital’s Woodlands location where he says a hand surgeon stitched his artery back together.
But without Shane’s quick thinking, Bill says it could have been a much different story.
“The doctor said you know it only takes three to five minutes and you're bleeding out," Bill said.
It was Shane’s first time using the tourniquet that he had had in his truck in case of emergencies.
“You’ve got to be prepared," Shane said.
And now, for Bill, luckily it won't be his last steer. It's a heroic act that he says shows the future is in good hands.
“This kid here saved my life," Bill said.