A man has revealed that he spent his life savings of £10,000 on fake fingers – after slicing his own off in a power tool accident.
Lee Goodale was having a BBQ with his partner, Ellie when he went back into his garage to chop some wood for the fire.
Using an electric mitre saw, the 44-year-old accidentally brushed his left hand against the blade.
“I looked down and my hand was just gone,” Lee, a content creator and chef from Great Hale, Lincolnshire, told NeedToKnow.co.uk.
“People always ask me if it hurts and are always surprised when I say no.
“I didn’t even feel it happen.
“I walked through the house and shouted for my partner.
“She came in and saw me standing there holding my wrist, half my hand missing, blood dripping everywhere.”
Ellie, 40, told him to stay calm and immediately rang 999.
He said: “I went into shock and still wasn’t feeling any pain at this point.
“The rapid response medic arrived in around seven minutes.
“Just as they arrived, the adrenaline had worn off and the first wave of pain hit me.
“Thankfully the paramedic administered morphine to my relief.”
He was rushed to Pilgrim Hospital, in Boston, where they then transferred him to the Royal Derby Hospital for surgery.
He said: “They operated for around seven hours I believe and re-attached my hand.
“Unfortunately, it was too badly damaged and had to be removed again a couple of days later.”
Over the next two weeks, he had three more operations and skin grafts to repair his hand.
He said: “I left the hospital after two weeks and had to have a negative pressure pump attached to the wound until it had fully closed and healed.
“Once this was removed, I went back every three, four days to have the dressing removed and changed.
“This was actually the most painful part of the entire experience and I had to have gas and air while they changed the dressing.
“Once the wound had finally healed, I went back for one more skin graft.”
Overall, it took four months for the wound to heal and then a year for the skin to return to normal.
During this time, Lee researched prosthetic options.
He used up all of his life savings to pay for the prosthetic he chose, with the piece itself costing £7,000, but with time and travel costs it totalled £10,000.
He said: “I was lucky to find a UK company that was able to make me a partial silicon piece – it had no function and was purely aesthetic, but it was something I really wanted [as] we were planning our wedding.
“Together with the cost of the prosthetic, I estimate the injury has cost me personally around £40,000 over the last four years due to a loss of earnings.
“It had such a massive impact on my mental health.
“In the very early days I just didn’t want to leave the house, the injury significantly affected my confidence and self-esteem.
“I had to take a significant amount of time off work, and without any earnings, I also had to re-mortgage my house and spend my life savings.
“I went through a strange period of phantom pains which most amputees experience.
“Still to this day I occasionally get an itchy thumb, which is mildly frustrating as there’s no thumb to itch.”
Lee has shared his journey on TikTok, showing how he uses his prosthetic hand to continue his work as a chef.
He said: “Because of the cost of the prosthetic, I honestly barely use it so that I can extend its lifespan for as long as possible.
“I was told when I first bought it [that] if I wore it every day, through normal wear and tear it could only last a few years before it would begin to look tatty and need replacing.
“I wore it for my wedding day and only use it for special occasions and my TikTok videos of course.
“I feel very fortunate that I’m right-handed and with the fingers I have remaining on my left hand, I’m still able to cook fairly normally.
“I’ve always been an avid cook, it’s something I really enjoy.
“I’m just really happy I’m still able to cook with some minor adjustments.
“I make fun of my left hand and very often include my prosthetic for a bit of fun and humour.
“I’ve adjusted really well to day-to-day life, I’m still able to do 99% of the things I did before.
“It’s amazing how the body can adjust after an accident like this.”
In one TikTok, which has garnered 2.4 million views, Lee can be seen showing the camera his two fingers, before showing how he puts on the silicone hand.
The post was captioned: “Why did I spend £10,000 on a piece of plastic?” and has gathered over 110,000 likes, as well as 600 comments.
Mac said: “That’s a pretty cool prosthetic though! If it makes you happy it’s so worth it.”
Someone else commented: “That’s DIY off my list of potential hobbies.”
Quai wrote: “I can’t imagine the pain you went through, glad you’re in high spirits.”
Niall said: “Well his wife loves him.”
Cam added: “Cheers for that mate I’m a chippy and I’ve got work tomorrow.”