For 31-year-old Vinny DeNisi, life is a series of hurdles.

His life changed in an instant on Sept. 13 at Lehigh Hanson's cement plant in Lower Nazareth Township. DeNisi was working in the mill building, when he fell through a metal grate and into a rotating cement screw.

"I go tearing over to him, and he's hurt bad," co-worker Mike Rau said.

"The look on his face was so terrifying," DeNisi said.

DeNisi was somehow able to free himself, but his leg was ripped off below the knee in the process.

"I didn't think he was going to make it," Rau said.

He remembered how to tie a tourniquet from watching a John Wayne movie and used his t-shirt to stop the bleeding, trying to keep DeNisi calm.

"I kept on talking, I held his face," Rau said.

DeNisi said he started thinking at that moment whether he was going to make it.

Co-worker Mike Jeans also heard DeNisi on the radio. A former EMT, he rushed to help. Jeans, fearing DeNisi could bleed out, applied a second, lifesaving tourniquet.

DeNisi underwent multiple surgeries and is now undergoing grueling physical therapy to help strengthen his leg and improve his balance in preparation for a prosthetic.

"How do you go through it? Well I wake up every day and just say, 'Thank you God,'" DeNisi said.