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NC: Hunter lucky to be alive after being shot in the abdomen

Gunshot survivor thankful for blood
by Tom Joyce

Arvid Simmons knows he’s extremely lucky to be alive after taking a load of buckshot to the upper abdomen two decades ago. But he also realizes that more than luck was involved in his survival.


Simmons’ story of survival begins on Nov. 24, 1988, Thanksgiving Day, when he went rabbit hunting in the Slate Mountain area near Flat Rock. Simmons, who was among a group of family members and friends, was continuing a 43-year Thanksgiving tradition that began with hunting trips with his dad at age 5.

As the men hunted in a remote section about 11:30 a.m., Simmons was hit in the right upper abdomen with an accidental shot fired by a friend. He shouted to the others that he had been wounded, took a few steps, then collapsed. It would be revealed in the operating room that the buckshot blast had left him with five holes in his small bowel as well as passing through the gallbladder and penetrating his aorta.


Simmons has not been hunting since that near-tragic event in the late 1980s, although he has continued to raise beagles, a favored breed of rabbit hunters.

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