Miles O’Brien, a former CNN anchor and correspondent, has a terrible story to share this week. It’s about his left hand and arm (from his elbow on), which recently had to be amputated as the result of a freak accident.
O’Brien, now a an independent broadcast journalist and a science correspondent for PBS NewsHour, explained in a blog post that went in for surgery thinking he’d be just fine. He awakened to a drastically different reality.
After a long reporting trip to Japan and the Philippines, he explained in a first-person account, his TV gear fell onto his left forearm.
This is a cautionary tale to get to the doctor immediately. O’Brien waited days, thinking his swollen arm would heal itself. He concluded, ”Life is all about playing the hand that is dealt you. Actually, I would love somebody to deal me another hand right about now – in more ways than one.”
O’Brien’s first broadcast gig was at WRC-TV in Washington. He worked at many other stations and landed at CNN in 1992 and left in 2008.
The doctor told me he suspected that I might be having an Acute Compartment Syndrome. I had to Wiki it, but in essence it is an increase in pressure inside an enclosed space in the body. This can block blood flow causing a whole host of serious, life-threatening consequences.
He had me admitted to the hospital. Over the next few hours, I endured probably the longest, most painful experience I could ever imagine. My forearm developed some dusky discoloration, but more alarming was the numbness. I could not feel my forearm!
Read the full story here.