I am sure you have heard the story:
Metz went into his basement on the night of June 7 to clean the heating vents on his furnace boiler. He tried to get something he dropped and his arm got stuck in the boiler, according to news reports. “Very quickly it became apparent to me that I had a major problem, I basically spent the next 12 hours screaming for help.” As he tried to free his arm, the funnel-like fins of the boiler tightened on his arm, and it swelled up.
“I had a decision to make,” said Metz, who is engaged and lives alone in West Hartford, Conn. “I could continue to shout and hope that somebody came, or I could come up with something else.”
He looked around at what he had near him. “I kind of really started looking around my surroundings again and, maybe there was something I missed. You know, what would MacGyver do if he were here?”
He saw blades from his power tools nearby. He decided to amputate the arm.
“It took me about six hours to psych myself up to the point where I thought I was capable of actually doing what I thought was needed to be done,” he said.
He made a tourniquet from the shirt he was wearing. At first, he used a hacksaw blade, and then a larger blade, The Associated Press said. He was almost done but couldn’t make it through a bundle of nerves, and he remained trapped.
Dehydrated and losing blood, he used his shoe to drink boiler water. “I managed to scoop a couple mouthfuls of this hideous, hideous water,” he said. “It was just enough to at least mentally make me feel like, ‘OK, here’s a way out of this.’”
But the pain became intense, and he called the effort a “near-death experience.”
“I had given up,” he said. “There was really no hope in sight.”
Friends and his co-workers noticed that he missed work on June 8 and a softball game. When he didn’t answer the door the next day, a friend called police, who found him in the basement, the AP said.
Rescuers had to tear apart the furnace to rescue Metz, and paramedics finished the amputation. His arm couldn’t be reattached because it was infected.
Doctors say Metz is doing well, and they hope to get him a prosthetic arm next month.
But did you know this?
Every five minutes, he said, his microwave would beep, reminding him that the leftovers he had been reheating for a late-night snack were ready. He said the chirps tortured him at first, but they later became a source of strength, telling him he had made it through another five minutes.
Microwave beeping every five minutes? I probably would have started to chew my arm off after 10 minutes….