A south Durban man whose left hand was almost severed by an angle grinder during an accident at his home on Sunday described how he managed to flag down a taxi to take him to hospital with his badly injured arm wrapped in a towel.
Father of three Siphiwe Bhengu, 42, of Ezimangweni, near Amanzimtoti, underwent a three-hour operation at Isipingo Hospital to re-attach his wrist, and doctors expect him to make a full recovery.
Bhengu, described by his work colleagues as a “brave man”, said he was trying to cut a padlock on a security gate at his home when the accident occurred.
“I had just finished preparing for work on Tuesday morning and was ready to leave the house when I realised I had misplaced a key for a security gate padlock. Since I was running late for work, I decided to take an electric grinder and cut the lock.
“Without realising the switch was on, I plugged it in and the angle grinder flew with great power and speed. In the blink of an eye it had sliced through my left wrist, almost cutting it off completely.
“It all happened so fast, and blood was all over the place, that at the time I didn’t feel any pain,” said Bhengu, a maintenance worker in an Isipingo car parts firm.
Despite his injuries, he said, he managed to rush to the nearest bus stop where he caught a taxi that took him straight to Isipingo Hospital.
“At first it looked like there was no hope because his hand was hanging by the skin,” said Dr SA Moodley.
“We had to perform a three-hour marathon operation to save his severed limb and repair the nerves, tendons and veins of the hand. This was performed with outstanding results, and should lead to the successful recovery of the patient.” - The Mercury