Workplace injury detaches Texas veteran’s arm

On Behalf of | Jan 29, 2013 | Work-Related Injuries

Royce Reid, 50, from Texas felt the joy of feeling his wife’s hand in his once again after an unfortunate workplace injury.

In August 2011, Reid’s left arm was severed from his body in Gilmer, Texas while at work. It took hours to get Reid from a Longview hospital to Parkland in Dallas, in which time he nearly bled to death. Along with the fear of death, the more blood that Reid lost, the less likely he was to have his arm successfully reattached.

From the time that Reid’s arm was severed to the time at which he met Dr. Bardia Amirlak, a UT Southwestern plastic surgeon on-call for the hand transplant team, was seven hours. To make it possible for Dr. Amirlak to restore oxygen to Reid’s severed arm, he had to transfuse blood directly from the patient’s left leg.

Dr. Amirlak had never tried or even read about the experimental procedure, he had only heard of it. He was aware that is was a big risk and certainly a long shot.

The tedious surgery that reattached Reid’s amputated limb took 18 hours to complete.

“He’s regained sensation. He can move all his fingers, he can do daily tasks,” said Dr. Amirlak, but he admitted, “I expected not much to function.”

Reid’s muscles and nerves are slowly regenerating on their own, however, the bones are held in place by metal rods. At this point, he can feel changes in temperature and pick up small objects.

“I kept hoping and praying, and I keep seeing results. I can grasp my shirt and put on my shirt,” said Reid.

Dr. Amirlak gave credit to the Navy veteran for sticking with the strict and often painful rehab for the last year. Reid has also made is through both Operation Desert Storm and Operation Desert Shield with the Navy.

Reid’s grandchildren have been strong motivators in this whole operation, which is what convinced doctors to attempt the risky surgery in the first place.

“One of my original goals was to be able to interact with my grandchildren. I can push the, on the swing, I can lift them up and hold them up, and hold them without difficulty,” Reid said.

If you have been injured at the fault of someone else, contact a personal injury lawyer for assistance. Located In Texas, the Bettersworth Law Firm has experience in personal injury law suits to get the injured individuals everything that they deserve.