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Wife’s quick thinking allows surgeons to reattach husband’s severed hand

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INDIANAPOLIS — An Indianapolis man is recovering from an extreme accident that completely severed his left hand.

Daniel Hudson was working on a carpentry project at his south side home when he slipped. When he tried to regain his balance, the saw he was using cut off his hand.

“The details honestly for me are fuzzy. I don’t actually remember doing it,” Hudson said.

Luckily, Hudson’s wife Heather was home at the time and heard him screaming. She jumped into action, grabbing her husband’s hand and rushing him to the hospital.

“It was just a gut reaction … I didn’t really think about it,” Heather said.

Thanks to her quick thinking, surgeons at IU Health Methodist Hospital were able to reattach Daniel’s hand during a painstaking five hour surgery.

“The clock’s running as soon as the injury occurs and we have six hours to get it back on,” said Dr. Kevin Knox of the Indiana Hand to Shoulder Center.

Knox said full hand amputations are rare, especially given safety precautions taken in the modern age. He said the injury was just clean enough to make it a successful procedure.

“So far he’s been as well as you can hope for. There’s not been anything that’s gone wrong,” Knox said.

For Daniel and Heather, it’s a story that is getting a lot of mixed reactions. The two met during their time in National Guard, on assignment in Panama. It used to be their go-to story, but now they have a new one.

“It’s the craziest thing that’s ever happened to me,” Daniel said.

“It’s the strangest thing that’s ever happened to me and I definitely don’t ever want to repeat it,” Heather said.

Daniel Hudson is a pilot and is hoping to get back to flying. It could take a year or two to get full sensation back, but doctors expect him to make a near-full recovery.