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article imageMan uses hand to unblock live lawnmower, nearly loses fingers

By James Walker     Jan 24, 2015 in Odd News
A man who nearly lost his fingers after using his hand to unblock his stalled lawnmower has described the "moment of madness" that followed.
The incident occurred on Monday when 26 year old Harley McEwan from New Zealand instinctively used his hand to remove a build up of sticks and grass from around the cutting blade on his lawnmower. The lawnmower appeared stalled, but McEwan forgot to turn off the motor. With the blockage removed, the blade began rotating again, nearly costing him two fingers on his right hand.
He was rushed to Whangerei Hospital and then Middlemore Hospital where he had a four-hour operation to save his fingers, including a bone graft. McEwan said he "just wasn't thinking" when he used his hand to unblock the operational mower, calling it a "moment of madness."
The hot summer season in New Zealand is causing a noticeable increase in "silly injuries" according to surgical staff at Middlemore Hospital. Other incidents include people who injured their tongues by tasting food in blenders while they were still switched on and chopped fingers while separating frozen barbecue patties. Another lawnmover related accident involved deeply-cut feet because shoes were not worn while mowing.
Steven Steward, Middlemore Hospital's patient flow co-ordinator, told the New Zealand Herald "Summer is a time where we get a lot of sporting injuries, but we've also got lots of injuries that happen because people don't engage their minds. All it takes is one lapse of concentration and it can change your life forever."
This was the case for Mr McEwan who admitted "It's so embarrassing because it's so stupid." He likened the incident to a "grenade exploding" with "blood all over the place" as his fingers became trapped in the rotating blade.
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