Gilbert man keeps severed hand due to quick thinking

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By Alicia Barron By Alicia Barron

SCOTTSDALE -- A Gilbert man who accidentally cut off his hand with a saw was released from the hospital Thursday. His hand has been reattached, and doctors say it was his quick thinking that made it possible.

Fifty-two-year-old Timothy Blazer was working at his Gilbert home earlier this month when a saw he had braced on a cooler slipped.

“What happened was I pushed forward, the cooler tipped, so the saw went down,” Blazer explained. “I had my hand holding the board, and as it went my hand ended up where the board was."

Blazer was stunned, but still had the state of mind to pick up his severed hand and put it on ice.

“I got a bag, put my hand in a bag,” he said. “For some reason … I don't know why. [But] I heard that's what you are supposed to do."

The doctors who reattached his hand said his quick thinking made their job easier. A pretty clean cut and a hand on ice meant they could go to work putting him back together immediately.

“To maintain his composure, and to put his hand in the bag, get it prepared and call the EMS -- he was very in control,” said Dr. Lloyd Champagne.

Blazer is now on his own working on his rehabilitation, grateful for what the doctors did for him.

“When I woke up in the operating room I didn't ever expect to move my hand again,” he said. “I kind of wondered why they had put it back on, if you want to know the truth. But every day got to be, wow. If I work, I can get quite a few of my fingers straightened out now."

Now there is enough progress to wave goodbye to the hospital.

“This will be a fantastic Thanksgiving,” Blazer said.

How soon until he goes back to using the saw again?

“I’m not sure that will ever happen!” he laughed.