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Mom-of-five lost two fingers in a horrific woodworking accident

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A woman who chopped off two of her fingers in a gruesome woodworking accident has claimed her severed digits were left to soak in melted ice for hours by hospital staff who had no idea what they were doing.

Farmer and mother-of-five Natasha Baggett, 29, from Washington, USA, is a huge DIY enthusiast. 

As a keen member of a ‘buy nothing’ Facebook group, Natasha was asked by a local mum in May of 2019 if she would be able to make a laptop table for her wheelchair-bound disabled son.

Natasha happily offered to make the table and began work on the gift. With just one final woodcut to go, the table saw that Natasha was using suddenly kicked back sending the piece of wood she was working on into the air. 

Natasha Baggett, 29, (pictured with her daughter) who chopped off two of her fingers in a gruesome woodworking accident has claimed she has been left in constant pain after her digits were left to soak in melted ice for hours by hospital staff who had no idea what they were doing.

Natasha's index finger was completely severed, her middle finger was hanging on by a small piece of bone, and the top of her thumb had been sliced off

Her injured hand is pictured

As a keen member of a ‘buy nothing’ Facebook group, Natasha was asked by a local mum in May of 2019 if she would be able to make a laptop table for her wheelchair-bound disabled son but she injured her hand while she was making it 

As it came down, it landed on Natasha’s right hand, forcing it onto a rotating saw.

Natasha’s index finger was completely severed, her middle finger was hanging on by a small piece of bone, and the top of her thumb had been sliced off. 

In a state of complete shock and whilst bleeding profusely, Natasha grabbed her phone to try and dial the emergency services but with her thumb mangled by the saw, she struggled to unlock it.

After five minutes, Natasha finally managed to call an ambulance but living in a rural farmhouse, it would be 30 minutes before anyone would arrive. Natasha squeezed her fingers together as tight as possible to try and reduce the amount of blood she was losing, but over time began to feel light headed.

Whilst Natasha admits that eating awkward foods like french fries and washing her hair is now more difficult with prosthetic fingers, she believes that more positives than negatives have come from the experience

Pictured are her two prosthetic fingers

Whilst Natasha admits that eating awkward foods like french fries and washing her hair is now more difficult with prosthetic fingers, she believes that more positives than negatives have come from the experience

When the emergency services arrived, they gave Natasha medication for the pain as well as an IV drip. 

Natasha had the presence of mind to ask one of the medics to retrieve her severed finger from the workshop floor to prevent one of her chickens from eating it. She was then rushed to a nearby hospital.

Natasha believed that the medical staff did not know what they were doing and claimed that the care she received was awful. At one point, Natasha awoke to a care worker taking a photo of her hand and saw her severed finger sitting in a bowl of melted ice at the end of her bed.

Luckily, Natasha was sent to a bigger, more equipped hospital the next day where she underwent surgery to tidy up what remained of her fingers. After five days, she was able to go home. However, Natasha’s recovery has not been easy and she still suffers with severe nerve pain in her hand caused by a nerve tumour on her index nub.

While waiting for an ambulance Natasha squeezed her fingers together as tight as possible to try and reduce the amount of blood she was losing, but over time began to feel light headed

Pictured is her hand just after the accident

While waiting for an ambulance Natasha squeezed her fingers together as tight as possible to try and reduce the amount of blood she was losing, but over time began to feel light headed

An x-ray shows Natasha's missing index finger and her middle finger hanging on by a thread

An x-ray shows Natasha’s missing index finger and her middle finger hanging on by a thread

In December 2019, Natasha was fortunate enough to be fitted with prosthetic fingers which have allowed her to gradually re-learn everyday tasks such as holding drinks and she has since managed to get back to work on the farm. 

‘A local mum in the ‘buy nothing’ group on Facebook put out a request for a laptop table for her wheelchair-bound son,’ Natasha said.

‘I offered to make him one that fit his chair. On the last cut, I was using my table saw and it kicked back – sending the piece of wood I was working on into the air.

‘On its way back down, it smacked my hand into the blade, severing my middle finger, ninety per cent of my index finger, and the top of my thumb. My first thought was, ‘Did that really just happen?’

In December 2019, Natasha was fortunate enough to be fitted with prosthetic fingers which have allowed her to gradually re-learn everyday tasks such as holding drinks and she has since managed to get back to work on the farm

In December 2019, Natasha was fortunate enough to be fitted with prosthetic fingers which have allowed her to gradually re-learn everyday tasks such as holding drinks and she has since managed to get back to work on the farm

‘I quickly realised that the top of my thumb was completely gone and I needed a fingerprint to unlock my phone.

‘After what felt like five minutes, I was able to unlock it using my other hand and called the emergency services.

‘I tried to go and find some zip ties to help stop the bleeding but as soon as I stood up, I felt very light headed.

‘I was stuck in the worst hospital for the entire day. I remember one of the workers taking a photo of my hand with his phone.

Natasha lies in a hospital bed following her traumatic ordeal

Natasha lies in a hospital bed following her traumatic ordeal

Natasha called an ambulance after the accident and was taken to hospital

Her severed finger

Natasha called an ambulance after the accident and was taken to hospital where she says she was treated by doctors who didn’t know what they were doing

‘My finger was just chilling on the end of my bed in a cooler and the ice had all melted by the time they sent me off.

‘They sent me in an ambulance to a bigger and more equipped hospital around two hours away.

‘I remember making a joke about how I hoped I would get twenty per cent off at the nail salon now, but the paramedics didn’t laugh.

‘My knuckles were obliterated so it wasn’t worth putting the fingers back on. I didn’t ever really feel sad about it.

‘I was just kind of thinking, ‘That’s not ideal but I’ll still find a way to adapt and to do everything I did before.’

As a mother of five girls, Natasha had to quickly learn how to cope after losing two of her fingers in a table saw accident

As a mother of five girls, Natasha had to quickly learn how to cope after losing two of her fingers in a table saw accident

‘My nerves are constantly on fire where my amputations occurred and I have developed a painful nerve tumor on my index nub.

‘I started googling finger prosthetics to see if there was anything functional out there. That’s when I came across Naked Prosthetics and found the prosthetics that I have now.

‘I definitely drop things a lot more now. My nubs hurt a lot and that can affect my productivity sometimes.’

Whilst Natasha admits that eating awkward foods like french fries and washing her hair is now more difficult with prosthetic fingers, she believes that more positives than negatives have come from the experience.

The Baggett family pictured together before Natasha's awful accident. The couple have five children

The Baggett family pictured together before Natasha’s awful accident. The couple have five children

She has managed to educate others who had lost fingers that there are prosthetic alternatives and now is even a disability advocate after realising that the world is most definitely built with able-bodied people in mind.

Just one day after leaving the hospital, Natasha managed to finish the laptop table for the disabled boy – something she believes was vital to her mental recovery.

‘One of the biggest ways it’s changed my life is that it’s opened my eyes to the fact that our world is built for able-bodied people, and not so much for folks with disabilities,’ Natasha said.

‘I do my best to educate others on limb difference awareness, and educate other partial hand amputees on their functional prosthetic options.

‘So many of them have no idea that there even are options out there.

She has managed to educate others who had lost fingers that there are prosthetic alternatives and now is even a disability advocate after realising that the world is most definitely built with able-bodied people in mind. Pictured with her daughter

She has managed to educate others who had lost fingers that there are prosthetic alternatives and now is even a disability advocate after realising that the world is most definitely built with able-bodied people in mind. Pictured with her daughter

‘It makes me so happy when I’m able to connect with someone who is missing digits and help them get in contact with the people they need to connect with in order to get their own prosthetic fingers.

‘I feel like even with all of the pain and difficulties, there have been more positives than negatives.

‘I have met so many amazing people that I wouldn’t have otherwise met.

‘I feel lucky in a way to have lived through this experience because it has humbled me in many ways and taught me some important life lessons I wouldn’t have learned otherwise.

‘Life without all of your fingers certainly isn’t ideal but it doesn’t bother me much, and I feel blessed that it wasn’t worse.

‘The day after I got out of the hospital, I finished the table I was working on and delivered it.

‘That was a really important part of my recovery, mentally.

‘I felt like I had to finish it and not let it be something that stopped me from woodworking in the future.

‘The saw might have got my fingers, but it didn’t get me.’ 

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