A teen has had his arm successfully reattached after it was severed when he was cleaning a pasta machine at work and the device somehow turned on. Bret Bouchard, a high school student from upstate New York, somehow had the courage and strength to wrap his belt around his arm as a tourniquet before grabbing the severed limb out of the machine as he waited for paramedics to arrive.
According to the New York Daily News on May 17, doctors credit his quick actions of applying his own tourniquet and salvaging his arm for the success of the reattachment surgeries. He knew enough to stop the bleeding and have the detached section of his arm ready for the first responders and bravely the 17-year-old did just that.
The doctors at the Boston hospital, where Bouchard was airlifted, conveyed that the “horrible injury was made worse because the arm was pulled apart and there was no clean break,” reports the Daily News. The arm was severed below the elbow, but because it was torn-off by the machine and not a clean break, the task at hand was a tough one for the surgeons.
The doctors needed to reset bones and graft muscles in his arm. The teen is far from done with this medical journey as he still faces several surgeries, according to ABC News.
Bouchard was working at Violi’s restaurant in Massena, N.Y., which is a rural town up near the Canadian border. He was flown to Boston to Massachusetts General Hospital where he has undergone four surgeries so far, totaling 40 hours. Dr. Kyle Eberlin, one of his surgeons said about the many surgeries:
“He has a long life ahead of him and you want to give him the best possible outcome.”
The teen reports he is feeling good and he can move the reattached section of the arm. His hands will need future surgery for the muscles to be reattached.
He should be released from the hospital later this week, but he will need to stay in Boston for another month of rehabilitation. After that, the teen is expected to return to his New York home.