During safety training, it’s often difficult to counter some workers’ “it won’t happen to me” attitudes. Perhaps you can get their attention with this story of a man’s recovery after losing his forearm in a machine at work.
Mel Deng lost his right arm just a few inches below his elbow. He was working at a box machine when it chewed up his hand and forearm, destroying muscles and nerves.
Paramedics tried to save the forearm. But he was bleeding to death, and they had to amputate his arm right at the scene of the incident, according to The Kansas City Star.
Now, Deng thinks that he hasn’t just lost his arm; he’s lost his future, too.
He wonders how he’ll be able to work and says he feels like half a man, no good to anyone.
Deng doesn’t want his wife or children to see him without a hand. He immigrated to the U.S. from Sudan years ago and became a U.S. citizen. His wife and children are still in Sudan.
He has to wear a stretch “sock” on the stump to help it heal.
Four months after the accident, he’s undergoing physical therapy. When the physical therapist prods and pokes at what’s left of his forearm, he grimaces, trying to hide the pain.
He’ll still need more surgery, and then he’ll be fitted with a prosthetic forearm and hand.
While there are prosthetics made to look like a real hand, they’re not as useful as those that end with a hook. Deng is resigned, for usefulness purposes, to the idea of a hook.
Doctors have given Deng some hope for his future. But it’s a tough road.