A Michigan man miraculously survived a horrific neck injury thanks to an unlikely hero -- his dog.
The man, identified only as Bob, left his house alone on New Year's Eve when he slipped and broke his neck. At the time, he was wearing only long johns, a shirt and slippers.
"I was screaming for help, but my nearest neighbor is about a quarter mile away and it was 10.30 p.m., but my Kelsey came," Bob told The Independent.
Kelsey, the man's golden retriever, kept him warm by laying on top of him, while licking his face to help him stay awake.
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"She kept barking for help, but never left my side," Bob said. "She kept me warm and alert. I knew I had to persevere through this and that it was my choice to stay alive."
"By morning my voice was gone and I couldn’t yell for help, but Kelsey didn’t stop barking," Bob recalled. "She was letting out this screeching howl that alerted my neighbor. He found me at 6:30 p.m. on New Year’s Day."
A neighbor eventually found Bob and called emergency services, who rushed him to a nearby hospital. His body temperature was low -- with a core body temperature of less than 70 degrees -- and he was suffering from hypothermia, according to WJBK. He was in atrial fibrillation and had a disc herniation in his neck that compressed his spinal cord.
Because of Kelsey's heroic ability to keep Bob safe, he stayed warm enough to remain alive.
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To the surprise of his doctor, Chaim Colen, Bob regained use of his extremities relatively quickly.
"I immediately took the patient back to the operating room for decompression of his spinal cord and stabilization," Colen said. "After the surgery, miraculously, he started to move his extremities with greater strength."
Bob said he credits his beloved dog for saving his life, but also credits Colen for his role in keeping him alive.
"I am so thankful for my two heroes," he said, The Independent reports. "Kelsey kept me warm, alert, and never stopped barking for help. Dr Colen saved my life and ability to move. They are truly heroes and I will be eternally grateful."