Myron Schlafman made headlines in August when he suffered a debilitating injury after an accident with a meat grinder that forced him to amputate his own arm. Now, after having gone through a number of surgeries and more than a month of recovery, the Jamestown, N.D., resident is speaking about what life has been like since his accident, telling local Fargo, N.D., radio station KFGO that he’s getting through it.
While making sausage in his own garage, the 69-year-old’s life changed in a flash when his left hand got caught in the electric meat mixer. Luckily, he knew what he needed to do in order to save himself. However, the solution was gruesome: cutting his arm above the wrist with a butcher knife to ensure that he wouldn’t bleed out.
“When my arm went in there, that must have been instant shock,” Schlafman told the news outlet. “I just looked and knew I was in big trouble. When I cut off my arm, I could feel my nerves jumping. If I would have hesitated, I would have stood right there and bled to death.”
Two police officers arrived on the scene shortly thereafter and applied a tourniquet before rushing Schlafman to the hospital, where he would spend the next nine days. Doctors quickly determined that the arm could not be reattached. However, Schlafman went through three surgeries that would stabilize his condition.
According to the Vietnam veteran, losing an arm isn’t the worst thing that he’s ever been through.
“It would be very easy to sit back, feel sorry for myself, and get depressed,” he said. “I went through Vietnam. I can handle this.”
Schlafman’s arm is not yet fully healed, and he’s preparing to get a prosthesis within the next couple of months, when he’ll likely have to relearn a lot of his daily tasks.
“I think I’ve learned a few things new,” he said. “I’ve always appreciated life but not as much as I do now.”
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