Man Whose Hand Was Ripped by Machine Regains 'Tingling' in Fingers

A man who had his left hand reattached after it was ripped off in an industrial accident has since felt "tingling" in his fingers.

Christopher Wright had his hand torn off when it got caught in a machine in February 2021.

After the incident, the 57-year-old from the West Midlands, England, was taken to hospital where surgeons reattached his hand. The procedure took 11-and-a-half hours, and was made possible because his hand was kept in a bag in the ambulance.

Wright lost his little finger, and surgeons had to remove 6 centimeters (a little over 2 inches) from his arm to smooth out its surface so they could reattach his hand.

Recalling his ordeal, Wright said in a statement in February: "Whilst working on a cardboard cartons machine, the chains grabbed my overalls and pulled my hand in to the machine. I heard a snap noise and at that moment I knew I had lost my hand.

"After going on a first aid responder course a couple of years back, my training from then instantly kicked in. I grabbed my arm out of the machine, squeezed it and called for help. I called for a first aider who then called for an ambulance. I remained conscious for the whole time that this was happening."

Wright told BBC News on Thursday: "My hand was amputated—as quick as that."

"I could easily have died as there are two blood vessels going through your wrist, with full blood pressure."

Wright told the news outlet he has started to feel "tingling in my fingers, a sign of nerve regeneration, so everything is going in the right direction."

However, Wright has lost the small amount of movement he gained after scar tissue formed on his tendons. He has had surgery to remove the scar tissue, and is waiting to see whether this helps.

"I'm never going to have as much movement as before but I hope to be able to at least pick up a cup or hold the wife's hand," he said.

Mary O'Brien, consultant plastic and hand surgeon based at the Royal Derby Hospital Pulvertaft Hand Centre who helped Wright, described him as "an incredibly inspirational patient."

She said: "He has a very positive outlook and is motivated in the face of what has been a life changing industrial injury."

O'Brien described the operation as "extremely complex" and said it is "very unusual to replant a whole hand.

"This is not just a physical injury but has a huge psychological impact on a patient and it is vital that mixed skill sets are involved to support patients with these injuries both immediately and in the months to follow to achieve a good outcome," she said.

hand health care worker patient, getty
A stock image shows a health care worker holding a patient's hand. Surgeons reattached a man's hand after it got caught in a machine. Getty Images