A fortnight ago, Deepak Kumar Singh came to Delhi with his severed right palm in a plastic bag tucked in ice and faint hope of recovery.
Twenty-five-year-old Singh was trying to pull out paper stuck in the casting machine when he accidentally hit the start button. The machine hacked his palm, with his thumb hanging.
Horrified at the sight, with his lifeless palm on the cold gray floor, the man, almost dazed, tried to hold back his tears.
“I didn’t know what to do. In fact, at that time it was not the wound that hurt me but the thought that I was invalid for life. Without my right hand what would I do, how would I feed my family? These were the only questions that hounded me,” said Singh.
Picking the pieces of flesh and inert fingers in a white cloth, the sole bread earner in a family of five rushed to the nearest physician in Sidkur, a small township in Haridwar who had little hope to offer.
Upon his employers’ suggestion, he came down to Delhi the same day, where the latter had arranged for his surgery and
Doctors at Fortis Hospital in Noida sewed his severed palm neatly to his injured wrist in a two-part surgery the same day.
The doctors started his re-plantation surgery using the micro-vascular technique at 2.30 a.m., which went on for eight hours.
“It was a challenging surgery mainly because there was 10-hour hiatus between the accident and the surgery. It was not a very conducive situation as such cases should be treated within six hours, but the only consolation in this case was that the fingers were well preserved in ice,” said Dr Manoj Johar, head, department of plastic surgery, Fortis, who performed the surgery with his team.
“Secondly, the operation had to be done in two parts, as four fingers had to be fixed first and then the thumb,” he added.
Singh was discharged last week. While he is able to slowly move his fingers, doctors said he would have to wait for some time before he can get back to physical work.
“Deepak needs at least six months of physiotherapy sessions before he can comfortably use his fingers,” said Dr Johar who plans to cut his stitches next week.