A Pittsburgh-area tree trimmer is recovering after taking a chainsaw to the neck.
James Valentine, 21, was working at an awkward angle on Monday to avoid a power line while stationed in a tree. Suddenly, the chainsaw “just kicked off” toward him.
“I shut the saw off and then I saw blood and was just like, ‘Oh my gosh,'” James told Pittsburgh’s Action 4 News.
James’ undeniably startled coworkers had the composure to help him down from the tree and call 911. Emergency responders disassembled the saw — taking care to keep the actual blade in James’ neck to avoid further trauma from pulling it out. A doctor also came to the scene to help limit James’ bleeding.
James was then rushed to Allegheny General Hospital. An X-ray revealed most of the saw was lodged in James’ shoulder, but part of it came within one centimeter of a major artery in his neck.
Surgeon Christine Toevs was able to extract the blade with minimal additional trauma. She patched up the wound with 30 stitches.
James is still recovering from the gruesome injury, but plans to get back to work as soon as possible.
“I’m a tree climber,” James told CBS Pittsburgh. “That’s what I do… It was just a freak accident. It could happen to anybody climbing a tree.”