Woodworker on losing his finger in serious accident one year on
PUBLISHED: 09:08 05 August 2020 | UPDATED: 13:55 05 August 2020
A wood crafter is about to exhibit his works at an online fair, one year after losing a finger in a workshop accident.
Paul Williams, from Neatishead, feared he would never regain proper use of his hand after it got caught in a wood router.
Mr Williams, who is in his mid-50s, said: “I was tidying up in my workshop when my back gave way, and I stuck my hand into a piece of machinery which was running in the background.
“It hollowed out my hand, taking all the tendons and filleting one finger completely. I had basically machined the bone off my ring finger.”
Mr Williams was able to put pressure on the wound, and his daughter called an ambulance. He was operated on at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH) and has had two follow-up operations, leading to a total of 16 hours’ surgery.
Mr Williams, who is left handed, said his recovery had gone much better than expected, even though his ring finger is now gone.
He said: “They took all the tendons from the ring finger and moved it to the index finger, and took what was left of the index finger tendon, moved that across, and then used other bits to join up all the gaps.
“The surgeons were reckoning that if I got 50pc to 60pc use back I’d have done very well, but now I’ve got about 95pc of what’s left. The specialist physiotherapists at NNUH were excellent.
“I’ve still got to build up all the strength in my hand because nothing is in the right place.”
Mr Williams was able to resume working just before Christmas. He makes everything from garden benches to wooden pens and pet bowls and has supplied signs to Belvoir Castle, chopping boards to Gordon Ramsay’s restaurants and more.
He said times had been difficult for small, independent crafters such as himself due to the lockdown as many fairs where they usually sell their work have been cancelled.
But Mr Williams said he had received a lot of support from other artists in the Two Rivers Artists’ group based around Neatished.
His range can be seen online at www.wwww.uk.net and on the August 8 to 9 weekend he will be participating in the Country Living Magazine Virtual Artisan Fair on Instagram, search for #clartisans.
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