'Six years of hell' for joiner after nail gun accident claims finger
AFTER six years of hell, carpenter Patrick Meek can finally get on with life after losing his finger in an accident at work.
The joiner, 60, was injured as he was using a nail gun to make pallets in 2007. As he fired a nail into the corner of the pallet, it hit a knot in the wood and ricocheted into the point of his left index finger.
Patrick, from Cinderford, was taken to hospital where he had an operation to remove the nail and to clean away the damaged tissue from his finger.
An intensive course of physiotherapy therapy followed to help repair the damage done to his finger.
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However, three months after the accident Patrick suffered a post-operative infection which required further surgery.
And two years after the accident a fourth operation saw Patrick having the damaged finger amputated.
Doctors tried to clean the infected tissue and repair nerve damage to the knuckle. They were left with no option but to amputate two years after the accident, wrecking his carpentry career, a job he loved.
"It has been an extremely traumatic six years," he said.
"One amputated finger, eight rounds of surgery at three hospitals and I'm still suffering.
"That accident put an end to my working life as a skilled joiner. The distress of the ongoing medical implications means I now take anti-depressants, and I will be on pain killers for the rest of my life.
"I have always been a man who has worked using my hands, and the loss of my finger and the lasting damage means I am reduced to claiming incapacity benefits, which is not how I envisaged ending my working career."
Patrick, who did not want to name his employer, contacted the Unite Legal Service who instructed Thompsons Solicitors to investigate a claim. His employers failed to admit liability and the case went all the way to trial where Patrick was awarded a significant sum.