Expandable Broadhead Failure Spares Hunter's Life

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Had the expandable Rage broadhead worked as it was designed and as its reputation suggests it usually does, TJ Cartwright most likely would be dead. Last week, the 23- year-old hunter from Price, Utah, was accidentally shot in the face by an arrow outfitted with the broadhead when deer hunting with his fiancé Lillian Rowley and two other companions.

 

Rowley told the Sun Advocate that Cartwright was videoing a buck as it made its way across a field. As the archer positioned himself for a shot, Cartwright inadvertently ended up between him and the buck. When the shooter, whose bow was already drawn, attempted to throw the shot away, the arrow accidentally deployed, hitting Cartwright in the cheek as he stood up.

Although the broadhead lodged near his carotid artery, Cartwright walked out with one of his hunting partners until they could obtain cell reception. After calling 911, Cartwright was located by Juab County medical technicians who took him to Nephi Medical Center where a tracheotomy was performed and the arrow was cut down. He was then flown to Utah Valley Regional Medical Center where personnel determined that only two of the expandable broadhead’s three blades had deployed. Remarkably, the third blade, which was resting on Cartwright’s carotid artery, did not deploy.

Unaware of how the Rage broadheads worked, the ear, nose and throat surgeons sent someone to Sportsman’s Warehouse to buy one, so they could understand its mobility and function before performing the surgery.

Surgeons ended up spending 12 hours removing the broadhead and the rest of the arrow and repairing the damage. They discovered the arrow had stopped right between Cartwright’s skull and the top of his spine.

Rowley says Cartwright, who left the operating room with no damage to his carotid artery, is doing well, but has a long recovery ahead.

According to this report, it sounds like Cartwright experienced two miracles – the first one being that the expandable broadhead's third blade did not deploy and the second being that the arrow stopped before hitting his spine.