Friday, July 24, 2009 Two men savaged in separate shark attacks in Sydney have thanked the blood donors who saved their lives.
Two men savaged in separate shark attacks in Sydney last summer have relived their ordeals as they thanked the blood donors who saved their lives.
City trader Glenn Orgias and navy diver Paul de Gelder continue to rebuild their lives after the traumatic maulings on consecutive days.
Mr de Gelder lost his right forearm and a leg in the attack on February 11 during a navy exercise at Woolloomooloo in Sydney harbour.
Mr Orgias was surfing off Bondi the following day when a shark tore his left forearm off.
The pair only survived thanks to Australian Red Cross blood and on Friday launched a new campaign to urge other people to give blood.
'I still remember it really clearly,' Mr de Gelder told AAP on Friday.
'The actual attack happened pretty quickly and it didn't really hurt at the time.
'It's very strange, there was no pain really at all, not until later anyway.
'I very nearly died. I was as white as the bed sheet I was laying on when I got to the hospital.'
The 32-year-old now has a state of the art electronic arm and he trains other navy divers.
Mr Orgias, 34, said he still does not like to speak much about the attack but he also felt no pain at the time.
'I remember more about the conditions of the sea and the sky than of the actual attack,' he told AAP.
'I was very lucky there were doctors nearby and other people who really helped putting tourniquets on my arm.
'I didn't feel any pain. I just remember asking the doctors later on if I was going to live. He said yeah, I was okay, and then it began to hurt like hell.'
He hopes to have an arm similar to Mr de Gelder's fitted in the near future.
The men, who both say they have no grudges against the beasts which attacked them and have since returned to surfing and diving, became good mates while being treated in the same hospital ward.
They waved to each other from their beds after learning about each other's attacks from doctors.
Mr Orgias is running in Sydney's City 2 Surf race on August 9 and has launched a website in conjunction with the Red Cross designed to secure 5,000 pledges of blood.
'It's really very important because it could be a member of your family that needs blood next, you never know,' he said.
'What we're trying to do is get people not to just donate once but them to make a habit out of it.'
for the original story on Able Seaman de Gelder go to: http://www.smh.com.au/national/navy-...0212-85zi.html