Veteran forced to amputate arm after it gets stuck in a meat mixer, says: "I went through Vietnam. I can handle this"
69-year-old Myron Schlafman had to take the decision after realizing not doing so meant he could bleed to death.
A Vietnam veteran was forced into an incredibly difficult decision last month when he was faced with the prospect of either cutting his arm off or bleeding to death. He chose the former. 69-year-old Jamestown, North Dakota man Myron Schlafman was making sausages on August 17 and was taking a chunk of meat out of the mixer when he accidentally stepped on the lever that activated the machine.
According to KFGO, Schlafman immediately knew that a life-changing decision was staring up at him. "When my arm went in there, that must have been instant shock," he said. "I just looked and I knew I was in big trouble. When I cut off my arm, I could feel my nerves jumping."
People reports that while his bone was severed, the muscle and tissue meant he was trapped in the mixer. Bleeding heavily and with time running out, Schlafman grabbed a nearby knife and began to hack away at his arm. He says if he had hesitated at the time, he would have "stood right there and bled to death."
Help soon arrived at the residence, with Jamestown officers applying a tourniquet so they could stop him from bleeding profusely and transport him to the hospital for emergency care. The 69-year-old credits the officers with saving his life, though he was not out of the woods yet.
He spent the next nine days at the hospital and underwent three surgeries, though the vet maintains a positive outlook on life because of his experiences during the war. "It would be very easy to sit back, feel sorry for myself and get depressed. I went through Vietnam. I can handle this."
Schlafman took to his Facebook page to update family and friends on his condition and thanked everyone for their support. "I have never made a post but it's time to make one to all my family, friends, buddies, people I don't even know, who have sent well wishes love and support," he wrote.
"On August 17 I got my hand sucked into my meat mixer, I lost my arm 2" from my elbow. I had my last of 3 surgeries. August 23. I should get out Monday. I have a lot of healing and therapy to take care of and PTSD screwed my head up a little bit, but I feel the love [sic]," he continued. "1 second can change your whole plan on life. Thank you all for prayers and support."
Furthermore, Schlafman will be fitted with a prosthetic arm a few months after his arm fully heals. He says the whole ordeal has given him a new perspective with which to approach the future. "I think I've learned a few things new," he said. "I've fully appreciated life, but not as much as I do now."