Young Steven, my son, just came home from basic training and infantry
school. 3 hours later, a friend put a loaded .270 in a gun case (Stupid). Steven pulled it out of the case, not knowing it was loaded (yes, he now understands that all guns are considered “loaded”), by the end of the barrel, and the gun went off. He has destroyed nerves and possibly tendons in his left palm. He is left handed. Doc’s are not sure they can restore full functionality. It could have been a lot worse.
Day 2 :
Docs say it’s going to be a long process (at least a year), and no guarantee of full recovery. There will be a series of grafts, plastic surgery, and much therapy. His military insurance will not cover this. Military service seems out of the question at this point.
After being at the hospital since Friday, I got home tonight (it’s 3 hours away), and found a 3/4″ hole through the house, starting in the basement bedroom, through two walls, two floors, the roof, and the fridge ……
Always consider a gun loaded, and treat it with respect. Many of us
use these tools for hunting or home defense. They are not toys.
He’s on his 4th surgery. Today they did a ultrasound on his stomach to find blood vessels and tissue to attach to. Monday they will lift a flap from his stomach, and attach his hand. This is to grow sufficient fat and skin tissue to attach nerve and blood vessels to the hand. He lost the ulnar nerve, so he will have greatly reduced motor skills.
They have yet to attach the hand to the stomach, although they have prepared the skin flap on the stomach by cutting the blood vessels from the sides to allow the central blood vessel to grow new passages out. Steven comes home tomorrow for a week or so until they can get him a spot in the OR for the hand attachment procedure. He comes home with a portable vacuum pump that removes seepage from the vacuum bandage around his hand and wrist.
The hand is being attached to the stomach on Monday, 11-15-08. It’s an overnight stay and he’s back home. He’s recovering nicely, and the damage does not seem to affect his thumb and index finger. He should be ready for the graft in 2 weeks or so. So far, the National Guard is keeping him on, in hopes of a complete recovery.