The man who was impaled by a ladder and stuck in a tree 15 feet off the ground in Trumbull last week is sharing his story exclusively with NBC Connecticut.
While firefighters with the Long Hill Fire Department will likely say they were just doing their job, the man who thought he would die up in that tree last Tuesday sees their actions very differently.
"I was stuck there. I couldn’t go anywhere. I couldn’t move," Ferreira recalled.
He said a 2,000-pound log that he had cut was about to fall in the wrong direction.
"When I saw the tree coming towards me, I thought I was a dead man," he said.
The limb came down right on Ferreira, and the ladder he was standing on went through the back of his right leg and almost out the other side. Ferreira was stuck and in pain, but he still managed to call 911.
Dozens of firefighters, paramedics and police officers, along with trauma surgeons and tree experts rushed to the scene. Ferreira was pinned, impaled and in need of a high-angle rescue.
"You put all three of those together and it becomes extremely challenging," said Capt. Greg Sanfanandre of the Long Hill Fire Department.
It was a grueling process to free Ferreira without causing further injury.
"We always reassure the victim that we are there for them and that we’re doing everything that we can to help them," said Long Hill Fire Department Capt. Rob Murphy.
After an hour and 22 minutes, Ferreira was finally brought down from the tree.
"It felt like six days," he said. "That’s what it felt like."
Ferreira said he broke four ribs and injured several discs in his back. The ladder, he said, just missed the arteries in his leg.
He was released from the hospital after three surgeries and eight days in the hospital. His first stop was the the firehouse to thank the people who saved his life.
"Here I am walking – thanks to God, thanks to the fire department," he said.