HOUSTON - A Houston man is back home after being attacked by a crocodile while working in Mexico.
Jonathan Schoenemen was released from a Cancun hospital Tuesday morning and taken to the airport in an ambulance.
With bandages on his head and neck, Schoenemen managed a weak wave as they wheeled him through Bush IAH. He told KHOU 11 News reporter Tim Wetzel he is still in a lot of pain.
“I feel really bad right now. I feel terrible,” Schoenemen said. “I am ready to get home, like, right now.”
Schoenemen spent 13 days in a hospital after he was attacked while spearfishing with his buddy. After an 8-hour surgery, he was briefly put into a coma and on a ventilator. Now, he can’t remember much about what happened.
“He just started hitting him where he could, going for the eyes, anything he could do to make the croc let him go,” said Mike Schoenemen, Jonathan’s dad. “The croc was dragging him through the mangroves. He was grabbing on bushes and things. He doesn’t know how he got loose.”
The crocodile’s teeth crushed part of Schoenemen’s skull, but narrowly missed his major arteries.
Luckily his lifelong friend, Travis Simmons, was able to drag him out of the water into the boat and get him to help. Simmons spent five years in the Navy and his training may have saved Jonathan's life.
"I had a lot of training for trauma, first aid for trauma for wartime scenarios, a lot of swimming rescue," Simmons said.
Schoenemen plans to return to Cancun after he recovers.
“Luckily, things happen the way they happen. Not too many survive a crocodile attack,” Schoenemen said. “Thank God I am OK. I will get back in the water pretty soon, so I’m not worried about that.”
Schoenemen was headed straight to his doctor’s office from the airport. He’ll also be meeting with a plastic surgeon because the croc ripped a good part of his neck right off.
(© 2016 KHOU)