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Surgeons Save Arm Severed In Pasta Machine
A 17-year-old restaurant worker whose arm was ripped off in a pasta machine has had his limb reattached in a complex series of operations.
Brett Bouchard was working in an Italian restaurant in Massena, St Lawrence County, New York, when the accident happened last month.
He was cleaning the machine when it was accidentally switched on, severing his right arm below the elbow.
The teenager quickly applied a tourniquet, recovered his forearm and was airlifted to Massachusetts General Hospital.
Doctors said normally with an accident that serious it would mean the loss of his arm for good, but they hope he will get feeling back in his fingers.
"It wasn't a sharp cut," said one of the surgeons, Dr Kyle Eberlin. "His arm had actually been sort of pulled off which makes it a more difficult injury to treat."
Another surgeon on the team, Dr Curtis Cetrulo, said: "Because of his age he has a chance to re-grow his nerves very well, and have sensibility at the end of his replanted arm."
He added: "Our plan is to take a muscle from his groin that's sacrificeable and connect the nerve up so that when that muscle fires, he can move his arm."
Brett said: "I like to spend a lot of time outdoors and I'm very hopeful I can get back to all that stuff."
He is due to be released from hospital next week to start rehab before more surgery.
"It's given me a new outlook on life," he said. "It's making me appreciate things a lot more, and I never knew how much people cared."
His mother, Rebecca Martin, said: "He's not going to be a piano player, but he should have some function and feeling in that hand. And that's the goal."
Thousands of dollars have poured in to a web page set up to help his family with the medical costs.