Warning: Graphic Content
After cutting his hand off at work, a man is now able to move his fingers following ‘miraculous’ reattachment surgery.
It was just like any other day at a Brisbane factory for Lawrence ‘Lorry’ Cooper – however, his life was about to undergo a seismic change.
While using a meat slicer, it only took a split-second for his shift to go haywire – from below his thumb, Cooper’s hand was completely severed.
Check out the local news report below:
While he can only remember glimpses of the gruesome incident, a co-worker leaped into action, placing the sliced hand in ice and applying pressure to the open arm with a tourniquet.
As reported by ABC News, Cooper said:
I only remember glimpses after I did it. It’s pretty terrifying when you see your hand missing, just a lot of different emotions.
Most of it wasn’t actually pain, a lot of it, they call it phantom pain where you can still feel your pain even though it’s not there.
Cooper was swiftly transported to Mater Private Hospital, where a crack team of plastic and reconstructive surgeons were assembled to fight for Cooper’s hand.
The doctors said the process was made easier due to the fact Cooper’s amputation was so clean – probably because he cut it off in a meat slicer. There were no jagged bones either, making reattachment a bit simpler.
As per ABC News, Dr Theo Birch – who performed the surgery with colleague Andrew Hadj for seven hours – said:
Before we could even consider reattachment we had to establish if we could reconnect the blood supply to the severed hand within a viable time-frame.
Unfortunately you can’t just connect an artery together straight away to restore blood flow as the construct is too flimsy. You need to plate and screw the bones together, repair the deeper tendons — only then is it safe to focus on the fine microvascular surgery.
While reattaching one or two fingers isn’t a tremendously rare occurrence for surgeons, an entire hand is an extraordinary feat. Following the operation, Cooper was monitored in intensive care for several hours.
Dr Birch added:
If any of those blood vessels get a small clot or thrombus in it, then the whole circulation goes off.
His movement the next day was promising. We gave him a day’s rest, put it into a splint and got things moving to improve the chances of success.
Cut nerves are the most unpredictable part of the process because for a successful recovering they need to grow, which is a very slow process.
Cooper’s hand was reattached back in August – while he’s aware the recovery will be taxing, he’s happy to have his hand back.
You’re always grateful and you’re always happy but there’s a lot of mental issues. I think you’ve just got to be strong-willed… it’s just about seeing how it progresses.
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After graduating from Glasgow Caledonian University with an NCTJ and BCTJ-accredited Multimedia Journalism degree, Cameron ventured into the world of print journalism at The National, while also working as a freelance film journalist on the side, becoming an accredited Rotten Tomatoes critic in the process. He’s now left his Scottish homelands and took up residence at UNILAD as a journalist.