UK & World News

  • 2 April 2014, 14:22

Chainsaw Embedded In Tree Surgeon's Neck

A tree trimmer is lucky to be alive after an accident sent a chainsaw blade several inches into his neck and shoulder.

James Valentine, a 21-year-old from Pennsylvania, was part of a crew pruning trees on Monday afternoon when his chainsaw suddenly kicked back and the blade sliced into him.

His co-workers brought him down from the tree and he was taken to Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh.

"Just a freak accident, could happened to anybody," he said in an interview from his hospital bed.

"Seeing the blood squirting out was crazy."

Emergency workers removed the motor of the saw, but left the blade in Mr Valentine's neck and shoulder to prevent additional blood loss, said Christine Toevs, the trauma surgeon who operated on him.

"He was appropriately upset, but his death was not imminent," said Dr Toevs, who serves as medical director of the trauma ICU at Allegheny General Hospital.

"He didn't lose control, he wasn't crying uncontrollably, and he was holding still as best he could."

When he was admitted, Mr Valentine was still able to speak.

"He didn't say very much except to say his name was James," Dr Toevs said.

"We certainly don't ask him 'How do you feel about having a chainsaw stuck in your neck?'."

Fortunately for Mr Valentine, the blade missed his carotid artery and most of the damage was to his shoulder muscle.

He is expected to make a full recovery and might be released from hospital soon. He will, however, need several weeks to completely heal.

Mr Valentine works for Adler Tree Service in Gibsonia.

Dominic Migliozzi, the owner of the company, called the rescue "amazing".

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