The Doctors: Teen Alligator Attack
A day at the Caloosahatchee River for a group of Moore Haven, Florida teens turned dangerous after they decided to swim across the river. Seventeen-year-old Kaleb Langdale’s arm was bitten off after an alligator attack. Langdale was able to drag himself to shore for help. Trappers were able to catch the gator, and they found Langdale’s arm inside.
Caleb, who is called Fred by his family and friends, joined The Doctors to talk about the traumatic event.
The Doctors: Alligator Death Roll
Fred said he saw the gator coming at him, and when he was within a foot of him, he grabbed under the beast’s jaw. He wrapped himself on him so that he couldn’t bite him, and then they went underwater.
He feel off of the gator and tried to get as far away as possible, and that’s when the gator lunged at him and snatched his arm. Dr. Andrew Ordon was impressed to hear that he “death rolled” with the alligator.
The doctors unrolled a life-size poster of the 11-foot gator to show the audience what Fred had to deal with. Dr. Travis Stork asked Fred if he knew right away that his arm was gone, and Fred said he was completely aware of everything that was happening.
The Doctors: Escaping From An Alligator
Fred said that he punched the gator as hard as he could and that’s when the gator did another death roll and broke all the bones in Fred’s arm. Fred said the he yanked the remaining part of his arm out and started swimming back to shore. He thought his arm seemed really heavy and that’s when he realized that there was still a tendon hanging from his arm in the gator’s mouth, and he was dragging the gator.
The gator tried to drag Fred back out to deeper water and did another death roll. Fred kicked off the gator and hurried back to the bank. Growing up, his mom always told him to stop bleeding with spider webs, and he spotted some when he got out of the water. He wrapped his wound in spider webs and squeezed his arm between his legs to control the bleeding.
The Doctors: Making a Tourniquet
Dr. Stork said that spider webs or whatever you want to use is fine, but the important thing that Fred did was put his arm in a vice. He said that when you amputate an arm, the arteries that send oxygen to your fingers don’t just clot, so you need to stop the loss of blood. By sticking his arm between his legs, Fred probably pinched the arteries and prevented himself from losing a life-threatening amount of blood.
A belt, a shirt or anything would essentially work as a tourniquet, as long as it’s tight enough. If you don’t have anything that you can use as a tourniquet, you need to press on the bleeding area as hard as you can until help arrives.
The Doctors: Dan Strempka Will Make Prosthetic Arm
The next step for Fred is to get a prosthetic arm. Dan Strempka, Fred’s prosthetist, called in to update The Doctors on when he’d be able to get his new arm.
Fred has been working with a device that Strempka sent him that allows him to practice using his muscles. Strempka said that over the next few weeks, they would begin to design and fit Fred for his prosthetic arm. Fred will be given the most technologically advanced hand that’s available today.