Danvers resident thankful to all who saved his life

Keith Martin and his wife Julia Martin, center, are with Danvers firefighters Mike Graves and John Hodgkins, Officer Justin Jones from the Danvers Police Department and several NSMC staff. Victoria Dela Cruz, R.N., IV Team; Renzie Obrero, R.N., Joelle Carizia St., R.N., OR Nurse, Sara Bouchard and Richard Bediako from Labs/Blood Bank, Yogi Cutitta, R.N., IV Team, Johanna O’Connor, M.D., Chair of Anesthesia, surgeon William Kastrinakis, M.D., Brett Heffernan, C.R.N.A., and Nancy A. Hassan, R.N., ED Educator.

DANVERS — While replacing the engine of his boat last month, Keith Martin was struck in the neck with a broken cable puller.

“I heard a popping noise,” the 57-year-old longtime Danvers resident said after getting hit in the cheek. He remembers his grandson saying, “Grampy, your neck.”

While reaching up to his neck, Martin said there was blood everywhere. His wife, Julia, rushed to get paper towels, which quickly soaked through, and immediately called 911.

“It wasn’t my time,” said Keith Martin, who works as a heavy equipment operator for the town of Danvers. He said calling 911 was crucial in his situation. “It’s what saved my life,” he added.

Officers from the Danvers Police Department were the first to arrive and quickly administered treatment to Martin's life-threatening injury in the driveway of his home, followed by the town fire department. Danvers EMTs then rushed Martin to the Trauma Center at North Shore Medical Center Salem Hospital, where an operating room was prepped for surgery. 

Because of the injury he suffered, Martin lost nearly a liter of blood and woke from surgery the next day. He said all the professionals involved went above and beyond, describing the collaboration between the Danvers police, fire and EMS and medical team at NSMC as “absolutely incredible.”

Registered nurse Lorrie Willett, trauma program manager at NSMC, is the point of contact between the emergency department and local ambulance services. She reviews each trauma patient who comes in. 

“We were able to call in a full trauma team” of surgeons, anesthesia providers, nurses, a blood bank technician and staffed operating room, among other necessities, said Willett.  

Willett told Keith Martin that if his family hadn’t call 911 when they did, he “most likely would have died.”

“I didn’t realize how bad it was, but they did,” Martin added. “It’s nice to know so many people care.”

Today, Martin is healthy and back to work.

“It’s a story with a happy ending,” he said. “I’m going to be thankful for every day I have.”

Staff writer Alyse Diamantides can be reached at 978-338-2660 or adiamantides@salemnews.com.