i watched my hand fly through the air after horrific saw accident.
AMAN watched his hand "fly through the air" after it was chopped off in an horrific accident.
Ian Horsley was helping to clear out an elderly woman's wood shed in his hometown village of Rosemarket near Milford Haven when the accident happened.
He was feeding material into a power chop saw when his hand clipped the blade.
It sliced off his hand across the palm, leaving only his thumb attached.
"I just felt this thump and something flew in the air in front of me.
When I looked down and saw it was my hand it was the most horrific sight. My world fell apart.
"I shouted to my friend and he ran off to his wife, who was inside clearing the house. She gave him a pillow case which he wrapped around my hand.
"We were going to call an ambulance, but then decided to go in the car because I wasn't sure if I could wait that long.
"I picked up my hand and got in the car, and we put my hand in the back seat."
Mr Horsley and his friend drove to Withybush Hospital in Haverfordwest, which was around 15 minutes away.
The consultant in charge at the hospital's A&E department then prepared for him to be sent to the Welsh Centre for Burns and Plastic Surgery at Morriston Hospital in Swansea.
An ambulance took Ian to Morriston Hospital "in record time" on February 23 as the roads were quiet while Wales' rugby team took on England at the Principality Stadium. Preparations were made for surgery, and 13 hours later Mr Horsley was on the ward with his hand reattached, apart from his little finger.
"Throughout all of this, I never felt any pain at all, and there was next to no blood, which I can't explain," he said.
"On the journey to hospital I was a little bit in despair.
"The guy in the back of the ambulance was absolutely marvellous. He was explaining to me how it was not the end of the world and I had to be positive. The plan was to take tendons from my leg and veins from my foot to repair my hand, but they did not need to in the end, it was sown back on."
Mr Horsley, 61, was able to return home to his wife Linda and 14-year-old daughter Cerys six days later.
He admits it had been a long, and sometimes difficult, road to recovery, which has included many visits to the physiotherapy and occupational therapy departments at Morriston and Withybush hospitals.
"I have still some way to go," he said. "It has been six months since the accident, I have some movement and every day there are improvements.
"My hand is stiff, but I do have movement in it. I've lost the small finger of my hand, but it feels like a small price to pay. I've got full movement in my thumb and I can grip things.
"I'm starting to get the feeling back in my hand but there's quite a lot of pain and I'm taking drugs to combat that. I'll be having further operations to release the tendons to release movement."
The accident has also affected Mr Horsley's job.
"I'm a self-employed handyman, so I haven't been working," he said. "Luckily enough I've been working for 40 years and have got a little bit of money behind me. I'm concentrating on getting well.
"I've got a positive outlook and my aim is to get back to work in some form.
"There may be some jobs I might not be able to do now, but I have got a better outlook than at the time of the accident, as I thought that was it.
"Although I've got little movement and little feeling, it's improving daily. I do have further operations to go through and hopefully I should get a little more movement."
Mr Horsley added: "I am so grateful to my consultant and her team at Morriston and those who have cared for me at Withybush. My experience of the NHS and the dedicated professionals that work for it is positive. They to me are heroes.
"I hope no-one has to experience complex trauma or severe burns, but should they do so, then they could not be in better hands than the Welsh Centre for Burns and Plastic Surgery at Morriston.
"The work they do is unbelievable. If this unit was further away, the outcome may have been completely different."
Ian Horsley was helping feed materials into a power chopsaw similar to this when his hand was severed. Inset, Ian's hand after surgery
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|Publication:||Wales On Sunday (Cardiff, Wales)|
|Date:||Sep 1, 2019|
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