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Texas man makes valiant recovery after electrical accident

Each year, hundreds of people in Texas suffer permanent work-related injuries. Oftentimes, these workers have to relearn how to do even the most basic tasks and many struggle to perform the trades they once excelled at. One central Texas man knows all too well how difficult this can be.

Two years ago on a wet spring day, the Knickerbocker, Texas, resident came in contact with a 7,200-volt electric charge while inspecting a barn roof. The shock nearly took the man's life and he spent about two months in a medically-induced coma because of the pain caused by the burns.

Fortunately, the man survived, but he lost both of his hands above the wrists. The man was fitted with prosthetic devices and soon began rehabilitation to learn how to use them. Formerly a contract welder, cowboy, hunting guide and cook, the man asked his doctor how his new hands would limit his life.

The man said his doctor replied that he could get back to his core trades, "but it would require new ways of going about them." After a lot of hard work, the man said that his doctor was right. He is able to do most of the same things he did before, although he admits that everything takes a little longer.

The man said he can saddle his mules and horses, unlatch combination locks when guiding a hunt and is still an excellent cook. He also performs welding work for a trucking company in Mertzon.

Above anything, the man said, the experience has taught him patience. He said re-learning how to do everything from walking to using his new hands been "a project in progress and will be for some time to come." The man also credits his wife of 35 years with most of his accomplishments.

Workplace accidents are often life-threatening, but thankfully they don't always have to be life ending. Do you know of anyone who was injured on the job and made a valiant recovery?

Source: San Angelo Standard-Times, "Near-death experience teaches man a life lesson," John Gill, May 9, 2012

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