Far away from the usual surgical tools, an eastern Ontario doctor and a bystander used a jackknife and pens to perform a life-saving procedure on a motorcycle crash victim this weekend.

Dr. Lawrence Schnurr, a specialist in internal medicine at the Kemptville District Hospital, was driving home around 3 p.m. on Thursday when he came across the crash scene.

Another motorist was already trying to help the motorcyclist, who had fallen into a water-filled ditch.

Schnurr said the male victim was turning blue and couldn't breathe, leaving no time for paramedics to arrive.

"When I had a look at his chest it was evident he had broken many, many ribs," he said. "He was making poor respiratory effort at this point and my though was he was going to die in the next minute or two."

The other man with him had a large, sharp knife and they were able to find a few pens to hollow out.

Schnurr said he then made slits in the man's chest and stuck in the pen tubes.

"At that point, the man became very pink," Schnurr said. "He started to respond nicely and asked about his motorcycle."

Making the story even more remarkable is the fact Lawrence is the older brother of CTV Ottawa's Joanne Schnurr.

"It's wonderful, gives everyone a boost to know that's the kind of people we are," said Colin Goodfellow, CEO of the Kemptville Hospital.

"It's like a MacGyver thing, something you see on TV but never think you're going to see it," said coworker Valetta Hudson. "It's impressive, we're pretty proud of him."

The crash victim was taken to hospital in Ottawa, where he's now in serious but stable condition.

"He's got a ways to go but hopefully he'll be riding his motorcycle by the end of the spring," Lawrence Schnurr said.

Joanne said her brother didn't even tell her about his role in the rescue – she found out about it with the rest of the newsroom when someone called in on Monday.

With a report from little sister Joanne Schnurr