Ct. Man Hacks Off Own Gangrenous Arm to Save Life

June 11, 2010

(ChattahBox)—Could you amputate your own arm to save your life? Jonathan Metz, 31, an insurance executive living alone in Hartford, CT was faced with that very prospect, after his left arm became trapped beneath a basement furnace for nearly three-days. When his trapped arm became infected with gangrene and began to smell, he knew his life was in peril and the festering arm had to be cut off. Stuck in a wet basement, Metz used whatever tools were within reach to severe his left arm just below his shoulder. Luckily, a friend, worried when he didn’t show up for a softball game and missed work, went to Metz’s house and called 911.

When rescuers showed up, they dismantled the furnace and completed the amputation of Metz’s arm that was still partially attached with fatty tissue.

Dr. Scott Ellner, a trauma doctor at St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center, said Metz did the right thing by amputating his trapped arm that developed into a “gangrenous state,” before the deadly infection spread to the rest of his body. “It was the right thing to do,” Ellner said. “This man saved his own life.”

‘”He’s a young, healthy guy,” Ellner said. “His strength is just so inspiring.” Ellner said he never saw anything like this in his more than 10 years as a doctor.”

Metz is expected to fully recover, after additional skin graft surgery. Doctors are hopeful that the young bachelor can be fitted with a prosthetic arm.


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