It wasn’t the Texas Chainsaw Massacre, but a Pennsylvania Chainsaw Miracle. James Valentine is alive and talking about the freak tree-trimming accident where he found himself with a chainsaw embedded in his neck.
Doctors say that the chainsaw cut into muscles in James’ neck and shoulder, according to Fox News, but avoided major arteries. That, they say, made all the difference in the world.
On Monday, 21-year-old Valentine was 15 feet in the air in a harness trimming a tree and trying to avoid nearby power lines when his chainsaw kicked back, embedding in the young man’s neck. He had the presence of mind to turn the saw off. Then, holding the saw in front of him, and the tree in the other hand, James began climbing down the tree as a co-worker rushed to help him. He reported being aware that he had to stay awake and keep the chainsaw stable.
His co-workers recognized the need to leave the chainsaw in place in his neck, so he wouldn’t bleed to death. Officers arriving on the scene were able to remove the motor from the chainsaw. A doctor was on hand to stabilize the blade. That is how Valentine arrived at Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh.
Doctors feared the worst. Valentine described it as “the worse pain that I’ve ever even thought of.” But according to CBS, the surgical team said that James was very lucky. The chainsaw in his neck could easily have been fatal.
“He was not critically injured. He was awake and talking to us when he came in,” said Dr. Toevs. “We took the chainsaw out and there was no bleeding.”
This is what the doctors saw on the x-ray:
James underwent emergency surgery, where 30 stitches and ten staples were put in place in his neck and shoulder. He is now awake and talking to the media. He is expected to make a full recovery.
After that, his plans are to return to work in a week or two. James has been trimming trees since he was 15.
Valentine certainly seems to have more sense than the last tree trimmer that Inquisitr wrote about. Last January, a tequila-toting tree trimmer had to be rescued from atop a eucalyptus tree in California. It took 27 firefighters and lots of ropes and ladders to get the unidentified man down to safety.
James somehow managed to get himself down to the ground with a chainsaw embedded in his neck. He recognizes that “someone was watching out” for him. As for going back after he recuperates, Valentine told reporters, “I’m a tree climber. It’s what I do.”