'Lucky to be alive': Man shares story after losing leg in wood chipper accident

'Lucky to be alive': Man shares story after losing leg in wood chipper accident

YARMOUTH, Mass. — A Cape Cod landscaper who was partially sucked through a wood chipper earlier this month told Boston 25 News losing a leg will not ruin his life.

"I'm lucky to be alive, not many people have an encounter with a wood chipper and live to talk about it," said James Blaney.

Blaney has plenty to say about his near-death experience as he recovers at Cape Cod Hospital.

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"The options I had, do I go in the wood chipper head first or do I go in leg first. That was going through my mind," said Blaney.

On November 16, a day before his 32nd birthday, James was manning a wood chipper in a Yarmouth yard when his foot got trapped on a branch.

"Essentially became a zip tie on my leg," he said. "I was like if I was going to die I'm not going to die freaking out I just want to die, I just want to enjoy the last few moments of my life and not think about what just happened."

His two co-workers quickly jumped into action, putting the chipper in reverse and applying a tourniquet. James' surgeon at Cape Cod Hospital, Dr. Larry Novak, says that quick-thinking likely saved his life.

"He is the luckiest unlucky guy there is because he was in a horrible accident, was able to get in safety and friends who knew what to do," said Novak.

Blaney is now on his long road to recovery and is getting by thanks in part to random acts of kindness from random people, like a woman who sent him bracelets.

"Some people, complete strangers, that have shown support and love that I would never be able to repay," he said.

His life, James promises, will not be ruined by losing a leg.

"I have a good idea, the silver lining is there. I don't know exactly what it is, but I have an idea it's shaping right now," said Blaney.

James underwent another surgery Wednesday afternoon. He expects to be transferred to Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital next week.