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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A catastrophe that’s fixed with medical intervention and there’s a lesson about bravery, gratitude and giving back.
Bruce Goebel is learning how to use his hand again after almost losing it in a horrifying accident.
“Before it happened I was screaming, ‘Somebody stop it,’” said Goebel.
His hand accidentally got locked into a sawing device used to make cabinets.
“I knew what was going to happen there’s no getting out of the machine at that point I couldn’t reach the emergency stop,” Goebel said.
In seconds his hand was almost completely severed.
“It wasn’t painful I think I was just in shock,” said Goebel.
At The Philadelphia Hand to Shoulder Center at Jefferson, orthopedic surgeon Rowena McBeath says the team confronted a complicated challenge. Bruce had metal plates and screws in his wrist from a prior injury.
“There’s no way the surgery could have been done without removing it,” said McBeath.
The 10-hour surgery to reattach Bruce’s hand was a success.
“When I woke up and saw I had a hand I was like that’s a victory right there I had my hand,” he said.
It’s now been 8 months and Bruce is regaining the use of his hand.
“I can move all my fingers I now have touch sensation in all my fingers,” he says.
Much of the progress happened here at rehab. This is where Bruce had the idea to give back, he had his cabinet shop custom make some of the equipment.
“It’s neat to see other people using it because it’s not just for my benefit it’s for everybody,” said Goebel.
The wood pieces mainly help patients with hand strength and mobility.
Bruce says he’s back to work, not with that saw, but back to the family business he loves as he continues to rehab his hand.