If you had to give up your favourite band shirt to help someone, would you? In 2014, an Australian soldier Bill Gaythwaite didn’t think twice about using his 1985 Iron Maiden tour shirt as a tourniquet when he came across an injured man. Steve Radeski had been in a serious motorcycle accident that severed his leg.
Radeski recalled the event to The Advertiser and explained that after the accident he had about six minutes to live. Gaythwaite showed up around minute four. The mortorcyclist commented: “My leg had come off totally and the bones were coming out of my hand. It was a compound fracture of the femur so that took the femoral artery out”.
He explained that after hearing the crash, his rescuer appeared “wearing a 1985 Iron Maiden tour shirt which he’d had since he was a kid. He was a tragic fan but looked at me and realized that he would have to use it as a tourniquet which stemmed the blood flow until the helicopter arrived”.
Redeski credits Iron Maiden for saving his life.
When Iron Maiden’s management found out about the incident, they reached out to Redeski and invited him backstage to their May 12 show in Adelaide, South Australia. At the concert, Radeski was given a signed Iron Maiden shirt to give to Gaythwaite and a second one for himself. The band also sent Radeski a car to pick him up before the concert and was given a front row seat at the show.
Radeski can now repay his saviour with a brand new Iron Maiden shirt to replace the one that was used to save his life. The motorcyclist still has Gaythwaite’s old shirt, however, and says that it has never been washed.
Gaythwaite received an award and commendations from both the police and the army for saving Radeski’s life. The army veteran says he was proud that he was able to save a life.