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Man saves his own life by amputating his arm

By Jason Smith     Jun 11, 2010 in World
Jonathan Metz, who lives alone, was rescued Wednesday after a friend became worried when Metz failed to report for work and missed Tuesday’s softball game.
Metz did not answer his door when his friend stopped by on Wednesday, but he saw Metz’ beagle “yipping at the back door,” reports ABC News. Luca DiGregorio, Metz’s friend, called the police, who later found Metz in his basement.
“I was a little worried, especially when the first cop showed up”, says DiGregorio. “Then more showed up, and then the ambulance showed up, so it got a little nerve-racking.”
Metz was found with his arm caught between heating cores inside the boiler on Sunday, Battalion Chief Matthew Stuart of the West Hartford Fire Department said.
Firefighters used a spreader, which is normally used to tear apart cars with people trapped inside, to remove Metz from the furnace.
After three days, Metz could smell the flesh of his crushed arm beginning to rot. Metz finally decided to place a makeshift tourniquet near his left shoulder, and using the only tools he had available, he began to amputate his arm. Doctors have commented that this actually saved his life. His surgery today was to begin the process of fitting him for prosthesis.
Dr. Scott Ellner said, “This morning we went back to reexamine the wound. The area around the wound looked healthy and viable. He is in very stable condition and is in recovery. He has a very strong sense of what’s going on and understands his situation,” said Ellner.
The surgeon has said that Metz saved his own life by amputating his arm because the dying tissue would have caused a deadly infection.
“People wonder how someone could go to that extent and remove his own extremity. But he saved his life by removing the non-viable part of the extremity. The wound released toxins that were circulating through the body. Cutting away that dead tissue saved his life,” he said.
Metz’s family lives in North Carolina. Neighbors described him to the Associated Press as a quiet and friendly man who helped them shovel their driveways after snowstorms, reports ABC News.
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