I don’t know what bedtime stories you were told as a child, but for me, they all seemed to focus on the perils involved in going into places densely populated by trees. Be it Little Red Riding Hood, Hansel & Gretal or Jungle Book, they all had a sinister undertone that acted as a deterrent for getting too curious.
To add to that list of folktales is the very real story of Lee Brooke, who lost his nose and upper lip after being savagely attacked by a grizzly bear whilst hunting in the mountains of Wyoming.
It’s a miracle that the Pennsylvania-native lived to tell the incredible tale after his brutal encounter with the mother bear, who had her two cubs in tow at the time of the incident.
The 61-year-old tried to fight back against the creature after “a voice in [his] head said ‘don’t play dead’,” but despite his best efforts, he was totally overpowered.
After being dragged 50 yards down the mountain whilst unconscious, Lee awoke to find that he couldn’t see. “[I] didn’t know what was wrong with me,” he told This Morning, explaining how he could see when he looked down, but not when looking ahead.
However, the cause of Lee’s inability to see quickly became clear when he looked down at his feet and saw his nose and mustache.
If you thought the story couldn’t get any more intense, then hold on tight because it’s only just getting started.
Listen to Lee tell his shocking story in the video below…
Thankfully, Lee’s brother-in-law found his nose and put it in his pocket. Later, he handed it to medical staff who then attached it to Lee’s arm in an attempt to keep it alive.
“They reattached it on my arm the next day and use leeches to get the blood flowing and keep it alive,” Lee explains. “Most of my nose is here, it didn’t all survive because it was such a long time without blood flow but they have enough to work with.”
Lee is now waiting for his nose to be reattached in a reconstruction process that could take “a year or two years, to complete”. Meanwhile, there was nothing medical professionals could do to rescue his mustache and upper lip.
We would like to take this opportunity to wish Lee the very best with his recovery and applaud the brilliance of modern-day technology for being able to reunite him with his nose!