Warning about Chad Ettmueller's jawbreaking story on wall of Cumming Which Wich shop
Chad Ettmueller with dislocated jaw on February 27, 2010 (courtesy: Chad Ettmueller)
Chad Ettmeuller still eats at the Cumming Which Wich shop where he dislocated his jaw in 2010
Chad Ettmueller with re-set jaw after 2010 sandwich episode (courtesy Chad Ettmueller)
Which Wich sandwich show in Cumming, GA
Cumming Which Wich franchise owner Gary Birnberg
Maxim magazine article that includes latest reference to Chad Ettmueller's story
CUMMING, GA -- Just when Chad Ettmueller thought his most embarrassing moment was fading away, it has resurfaced in an international men's magazine.
His February 27, 2010 jawbreaking sandwich shop experience is included in a new Maxim article about stupid medical traumas.
But on Wednesday he told 11Alive News he doesn't mind being a distraction from the serious and sad news that fills most headlines.
"It's kinda funny to sit back and just laugh about something stupid that happened to somebody and I guess I've humbled myself enough to just go with it now," he said.
Three years to the day after it happened, Ettmeuller sat down with me at the scene of the crime, or more appropriately, the "accident".
"Tried to goof off with the kids and take a really big bite and I'll be darned if my jaw just didn't lock right on me," he recalled.
Ettmueller said he was famished after a day-and-a-half without eating when he took his wife and two children to the Which Wich sandwich shop in Cumming.
He tried to take a huge bite of a double meat sandwich called the Double Wicked and it lived up to its name.
"At first I was just panicked; I'd never had anything like that happen," he said.
At first his family thought he was just joking, but it wasn't long before they realized his jaw was locked open, dislocated more than an inch on each side.
It stayed that way for 14 hours before Emory surgeons finally re-set it.
He couldn't eat any solid food for more than a week and still only takes small bites of much smaller sandwiches these days.
"Still to this day when I yawn, I have to put my fist under my jaw to prevent it from dislocating again," Ettmueller said.
His experience briefly made him an international web celebrity three years ago.
"I got calls from Jay Leno, Jimmy Kimmel, The View, all of those shows wanting me to come on and embarrass myself," he said.
But he turned them all down.
He did several print and radio interviews, but no TV interviews until he sat down with me on the third anniversary of his trauma.
Even though Ettmueller works for a company that deals with lawsuit settlements, he never even thought of suing the Which Wich franchise.
"He owned up that it really wasn't our mistake and it was something that just was a freak accident that happened and he was fine with it," shop owner Gary Birnberg told 11 Alive.
"There's nothing to sue for," said Ettmueller.
"They made the sandwich I ordered; I was dumb enough to try to eat it," he added.
He and his family are still regular customers of the sandwich shop, which has a photo display of his ordeal on the wall warning customers to be careful.