Former LSU OL Matt Branch details dying twice after being shot by a dog in hunting accident, plans to hunt again
You might remember hearing about former LSU OL Matt Branch (2008-11) a few months ago. His hunting accident led to a rather unforgettable headline: “Former LSU OL Matt Branch has leg amputated after getting shot by dog in hunting accident.”
In a bizarre sequence of events, a dog inadvertently took the safety off and pulled the trigger on a gun when he jumped in a truck bed after Branch and others had loaded their duck hunting gear in the truck for their Eagle Lake, Mississippi annual hunt. Branch was hit in his left thigh, resulting in his leg being amputated. It could have been much worse. For a period, it was, and more than once.
“I remember pretty much everything about that day up until about an hour after the accident,” Branch told Brian Broom of The Mississippi Clarion Ledger in a new feature. “I passed out, passed away — whatever you want to call it.”
“I coded for probably over an hour,” Branch added. “It was two different times. They (medics) worked on me and brought me back.”
Branch didn’t wake up until 12 days later. He recalls being unable to feed himself and being “barely able to grad a bottle of water.”
Learning he had lost his leg didn’t horrify him.
“For several days they didn’t know if I would live or die, so I was happy to be alive rather than mad I lost my leg. I kind of accepted it and tried to figure out what I needed to do to get out of the hospital,” Branch said.
As detailed in Broom’s feature, Branch would have three more surgeries and spend 43 days in the hospital before moving to a rehabilitation center for 14 days. Branch was fitted for a prosthetic and faced a difficult rehab. He stayed positive throughout and is now back to work. He also plans to hunt again.
“I’m going to continue to hunt,” Branch said. “I’m not going to blame this on hunting — or guns, for that matter.
“I probably won’t hunt as much as I used to just because I can’t do all the things I did before, but I’m going to continue to hunt and carry on the hunting tradition in my family, for sure.”
The full feature, which details the accident, Branch’s time in the hospital and rehab, is a worthwhile read on the Clarion Ledger website.