A Massachusetts landscaper who lost his leg after it was sucked through a wood chipper earlier this month is grateful that he lived to tell the tale.
“I’m lucky to be alive,” James Blaney, 32, of Cape Cod, told local station Boston 25 Wednesday. “Not many people have an encounter with a wood chipper and live to talk about it.”
Blaney had been manning a wood chipper in a Yarmouth yard on Nov. 16 when his foot got trapped in a branch, he told the station.
“Essentially became a zip tie on my leg,” he said. “I was like, ‘If I was going to die I’m not going to die freaking out. I just want to die, I just want to enjoy the last few moments of my life and not think about what just happened.’”
Meanwhile, a flurry of thoughts ran through his head.
“The options I had, do I go in the wood chipper head first or do I go in leg first,” Blaney told the station. “That was going through my mind.”
His two quick-thinking co-workers rushed to place the chipper in reverse and apply a tourniquet — which probably saved his life, his surgeon, Dr. Larry Novak at Cape Cod Hospital, told the outlet.
“He is the luckiest unlucky guy there is because he was in a horrible accident, was able to get in safety and friends who knew what to do,” Novak said.
James underwent another surgery on Wednesday and is expected to be transferred to Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital next week, according to the report.
He still has a long recovery ahead — but remains optimistic.
“I have a good idea, the silver lining is there,” he said. “I don’t know exactly what it is, but I have an idea it’s shaping right now.”