My name’s Briant Cummings. I’m from Punta Gorda, Florida. I’m 16 years old. The day started out, it was just a regular day at school. Like I woke up all regular, I wasn’t doing anything. I was laying in my bed and I was like, Oh well it’s almost Christmas. Maybe I’ll get some stuff from my boat for Christmas. So I went over there and I was like, cause we were going to work on the tower that weekend like after Christmas. But I was like Oh I can just go start, start and try myself. So I got up, went out there and I was trying to cut. It’s like a 2 x 2 piece of metal aluminum posts, and I was trying to cut like a triangle in it. But instead of turning the saw like you can turn the saw where it cuts a 90 in the 90, I just turned the piece of metal. And I brought it down like too fast. So it bit and it just stuck my hand through and cut it on the angle. My stepdad’s out at the fire station, he’s a paramedic. He was at the station where, where they got the call from. So we left, we met him. We met the ambulance in the parking lot and then the helicopter came and landed in the field. We forgot the hand at the house because we were freaking out. So like the hand was still laying in the backyard. Ran to the house, found the hand and he like passed out and I got flown to Tampa General with my hand thankfully. We got to the hospital out of the helicopter and like walked in, there was like a hundred people. And then I guess I just don’t really remember anything after that. I was just like passed out Dr. Nydick, he was with his son going to a museum and he got the call that I cut my hand off and he had to rush in. And I felt bad because he didn’t get to spend time with his son.
So I first heard about Briant Cummings I was not on call. I was downtown just walking around with my family and I got a call from the hospital regarding Bryant. The team brought him to Tampa General, got him in the operating room. Dr. Halpern who is on call called for help and I was available and came in to help. The USF ortho residents were there. They were able to help. So it’s a team approach. The OR Nurses, anesthesiologists, everybody. They did so good on the surgery that I was like twitching it like out of the surgery. Like, like I was like just woke up and my dad was like, well, can you move your hand now? Like I could Twitch it. Like it was just like a little movement like that, just a little Twitch and they thought I would never getting movement.
So this operation for Bryant was a hand replantation where we’re able to connect all the parts in his hand, including blood vessels, tendons, bone and nerves. AxoGen makes a product, which is a process human nerve which they take the cells out and prepare it properly so that nerve can then bridge the gap. Before I couldn’t even like move my fingers like they’re like stuck like this and I could only go like that again. I only moved them a little bit, so that was really hard to like, I couldn’t grip anything, but now I can like grip it like I can pick a milk jug and pour me a drink. Nerve recovery is something important for hand replant because if you can’t feel than what you’ve done, the blood vessel gave the hand blood supply, the hand is alive, but it doesn’t provide an overall benefit to the patient. The first time I got back to fishing, I was able to grip the thing right here and it was able, I was able to reel it in and cast it out. So I put the reel right here and go like there. As I got to, I love fishing. It’s like therapy. It’s like mom always tells me to go clean my room and my mom doing physical therapy and then I just started fishing from then on again, really hard. Like I used to.