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To save self, he lost arm

Jonathan Metz, 31, motions to his missing left arm, which he tried to cut off after it became stuck and then severely injured in the furnace boiler in his basement. He said he asked himself: “What would MacGyver do?”

Associated Press

Jonathan Metz, 31, motions to his missing left arm, which he tried to cut off after it became stuck and then severely injured in the furnace boiler in his basement. He said he asked himself: “What would MacGyver do?”

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To save self, he lost arm

Jonathan Metz had his left arm stuck in his furnace boiler for about 12 hours when he asked himself "what would MacGyver do?" and concluded that amputating the limb was his only chance for survival. The 31-year-old West Hartford, Conn., man met with the news media Tuesday for the first time since getting his arm stuck in his furnace in his basement for two days and nearly cutting off the limb.

Metz, who is right-handed and lives alone, said when the thought of amputation first crossed his mind he pushed it away. He considered every other option and thought of the resourceful 1980s TV character who always found a way to use mundane objects around him to get himself out of tough situations.

"I definitely dithered for a few hours after coming up with the initial idea," said Metz, who works in financial services. "I thought there must be some other way."

Metz said his arm got stuck in the furnace boiler while he cleaned the heating vents June 7. When he tried to remove the arm, the boiler cut into it. Screams for help went unanswered. Eventually he smelled rotting flesh and started thinking he had to cut the arm off.

He used a hacksaw blade, then used a larger blade. He nearly succeeded, but couldn't make it through a bundle of nerves. Police found him in the basement June 9, after a friend called police when he did not answer the doorbell.

Doctors said Metz is doing well. They hope to fit him for a prosthetic arm in the next month.

Associated Press

To save self, he lost arm 06/15/10 [Last modified: Wednesday, June 16, 2010 12:14am]

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