By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
5/6/2013 (2 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
It began as an ordinary day for Paul Templer at his job as a river guide Zambezi near Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe. The owner of a river tour business, the at the time 27-year-old Templer had been taking people on trips along the stretch of the Zambezi for many years. That would all change in a deadly encounter with a hippopotamus where he would find himself upside down and head first up to his waist in the hippo's throat.
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic online) - Hippos are not the docile, friendly creatures you find in storybooks and cartons. Hippos continue to kill around 300 people a year, making them the third biggest killer of humans after mosquitoes and box jellyfish, despite only living in certain parts of Africa.
Their gaping mouths span four feet and are lined with fearsome tusks. They're especially dangerous in the water, where the male bull hippos can become territorial.
Templer was well aware of the danger the creatures pose and knew to give them a wide berth. On the day of the attack he was accompanied by three apprentice guides - Mike, Ben and Evans, all in separate kayaks. All four were approaching the end of the tour when they came across a pod of around a dozen hippos wallowing quietly in the shallows.
Templer steered the group away from the danger before pausing a moment for Evans, who had been lagging slightly behind, to catch up. "I turned just in time to see Evans flying through the air before he splashed into the river." Templer immediately went back to help Evans who reached out his hand. Then all hell broke lose.
"My world went dark and strangely quiet, a few very long seconds ticked by as I tried to figure out what was going on.
"From my waist up I was not dry but I wasn't wet either not like my legs were I was head first down my waist down a hippo's throat. I pushed and I pulled and I wiggled about all to no avail.
"Then the monster loosened its grip long enough for me to escape. Bursting to the surface I came face to face with Evans.
"I remember looking up and I could see the different hues of green and yellow I watched my blood mingle with the water. I wondered what would happen first, if I'd bleed to death or if I'd drown."
One of the other apprentice guides, Mike, risked his own life to paddle back and help. Templer was able to grab hold of his Kayak and was hauled to the shore. But he was far from out of danger.
"I made the mistake of taking a look at myself," he continues. "My one arm from the elbow up had been crushed to a pulp and from the elbow down had been stripped of its flesh.
'Then a strange thing happened; I went incredibly calm and all the pain went away and I knew that it was my moment of choice. I knew right there and then I could shut my eyes I could drift off, I could call it a day or I could fight my way through this and I could stick around."
Templer had to endure a grueling eight hour journey to the nearest hospital in the city of Bulawayo. His left arm had to be amputated above the elbow, but the surgeons had managed to save his injured leg.
Just two years after the attack, he was back on the Zambeizi using a specially adapted kayak paddle to lead a three-month long Expedition.
Today, he is based in the U.S. where he runs his own speaking and coaching business and is married with three young children.
"What's Left of Me" was published late last year and is available though Amazon and digitally through the iTunes book store.
By Kenya Sinclair (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
What makes you angry? Maybe you don't like the way your boss talks to you at work or your spouse spends too much money. What do you do when you feel anger coming on? Who do you turn to? LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - When we get angry we can say or do things we ... continue reading
By Linky C. (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
Megachurch Pastor Kyle Idleman claims that to live life, "everyone simply needs to get over themselves" to truly "experience abundant life with Jesus," a theory he promotes in his new book The End of Me: Where Real Life in the Upside-Down Ways of Jesus Begins. LOS ... continue reading
By CNA/EWTN News
Pope Francis approved, earlier this year, the decrees necessary for Blesseds Louis and Zelie Martin - known for being the parents of St. Therese of Lisieux - to be declared saints. VATICAN CITY (CNA/EWTN News) - The two blesseds will be the first couple ever to ... continue reading
By CNA/EWTN News
Calling on all Christian men to take a stand in the Church's spiritual battle, Bishop Thomas Olmsted of Phoenix asked men in his diocese to courageously pursue their vocations as friends, fathers, and spouses. Phoenix, Ariz. (CNA/EWTN News) - "Men, do not ... continue reading
By Michelle Bauman, CNA/EWTN News
Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia hosted Pope Francis in his highly anticipated first visit to the United States. As the dust settled after the departure of nearly one million participants in the final Mass for the World Meeting of Families, CNA had the ... continue reading
By Tony Magliano
From celebrating Masses at Havana's Revolution Square in Cuba, Washington, D.C., New York City and Philadelphia, to addressing the U.S. Congress and the United Nations - and with lots packed in between - the 78-year-old Pope Francis tirelessly proclaimed the Gospel ... continue reading
By CNA/EWTN News
With World Youth Day coming up next year, Pope Francis has a question for young people: "Do you realize how precious you are to God, who has given you everything out of love?" Vatican City (CNA/EWTN News) - "You, dear young man, dear young woman, have you ever ... continue reading
By Ann Schneible, CNA/EWTN News
In his wide-ranging press briefing en route from the United States to Rome, Pope Francis spoke on the difficult subject of forgiving priests who have molested minors, saying that the strength to forgive, and to be forgiven, can only come from God. Vatican City ... continue reading
By Atarah Haely (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
Love is a big word people use all too often. However, real love is tough and we may be living without the love we profess to have and share with one another. Luckily, we have the Scripture to remind us what true love looks like. HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA (Catholic ... continue reading
By CNA/EWTN News
At the final Mass closing out the 2015 World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia, Pope Francis warned against narrowing God's love and works to only a certain group of people. Philadelphia, Pa. (CNA/EWTN News) - "To raise doubts about the working of the Spirit, ... continue reading