Omaha man saves own life by performing self-tracheotomy

An Omaha man apparently saved his own life by performing an emergency surgery on himself. Fifty-five-year-old Steve Wilder awoke in the middle of the night last week and couldn’t breathe. He’d had breathing trouble after a bout with throat cancer several years ago and his windpipe had swollen shut as he slept. Wilder says he knew he only had one option, as an ambulance would never arrive in time, so he gave himself a tracheotomy. He used a steak knife and poked a hole in his throat, which brought a gush of blood — and a rush of air. He could breathe. He says it didn’t hurt. Doctors say it saved Wilder’s life but they don’t recommend what he did — call 911 instead.