- Johnson says he was hoping he’d wake up from operation
- Doctors said there were no guarantees before surgery
- Johnson accidentally stabbed himself while opening gate
Geelong hero Steve Johnson has revealed doctors told him there was a chance he could die after he was rushed to hospital following a freak self-inflicted injury involving a very sharp knife.
The former superstar goalkicker spent Monday night in a Wangaratta hospital 250km north-west of Melbourne after he suffered a serious wound to his stomach when a knife in a bag he was carrying punctured his abdomen.
The blade made contact with a gate he was opening at his home and then pierced through the bag and subsequently drove into his stomach.
Luckily for Johnson, a man who works as a registered nurse was walking past his house and applied pressure to the wound.
Steve Johnson (pictured playing for Geelong in 2015) has spoken about his close call after accidentally stabbing himself
The footy star suffered a life-threatening injury (pictured) and was lucky a nurse was on hand at the time
‘It was the first time where it crosses your mind or been in that mindset, “I might be dying here”,’ Johnson told News Corp.
‘Before going into surgery [his wife] Erin said to one of the doctors, “What’s the go?” And they said there were no guarantees.’
‘It’s not 100 per cent I was going to be OK. So before going into surgery I was thinking, “I hope I wake up”.
‘I’m just so incredibly grateful the nurse, Jason, was there, and had that calm mind, and happened to be walking past our house because it’s a very quiet street and it’s unusual to see someone walking past.
‘But he saved me along with the medical staff at the Wangaratta hospital, so thanks so much to all of those people and my family including my wife Erin.’
Johnson, one of the greatest goalkickers in modern footy, suffered damage to his bowel and remained in hospital on Tuesday night, although he is expected to make a full recovery.
The knife involved in the incident was recently given to Johnson by a friend who is a butcher. The Cats great used it to cut his son Archie’s birthday cake.
‘It was just really freakish how it happened,’ he said.
Johnson (pictured with his children) said the situation was so serious that he feared he might not survive surgery
The Geelong great is forever thankful to the hospital staff and his quick-thinking neighbour
‘We were going inside the house but my little girl couldn’t open the gate, so I held on to one bag and pushed against it [to open the gate] but the knife was in that bag.
‘It just went straight into me.
‘At the same time, it just so happened this couple was walking past out front, and one was a nurse.
‘I’ve yelled out, “Quick, Erin, jump in the car and take me to the hospital”. I said, “The knife has gone through my stomach”.
‘That’s when the bloke said to me, “I’m a nurse, let me come and help”, and he got a towel and said we need to put as much pressure on it as we can.
‘He took me to hospital and called them on the way and they knew who he was and he explained everything. He said it was a severe injury and I’d need surgery immediately.’
The former Cats and Giants star kicked 516 goals during 293 games in the AFL.
Johnson now works as a Triple M commentator and recently underwent surgery to straighten his leg after suffering a number of injuries during his career.
He won three premierships with Geelong and has enjoyed a fruitful post-playing career as a coach.