Piano man keeps playing minus fingertips
"I'm now a seven-finger piano player," says the 71-year-old man from Eau Claire, Wisconsin.
Lightheartedness aside, "I'm grateful I didn't lose any more," Radloff said.
Radloff, the founder of the Eau Claire Ragtime Festival, had the upper portion of the three middle fingers on his right hand amputated last Feb. 29 outside his home as he attempted to clear heavy, wet snow and slush from the discharge chute on his two-stage snow blower.
Before reaching a gloved hand into the chute, Radloff checked the blades that pulled the snow into the idling machine to make sure they were stopped. They were, but the mechanism responsible for discharging the snow out of the chute — which he couldn't see — was not.
Radloff figures he's got about 60 percent of what his hand function used to be. Almost a year after the accident, his right hand — his dominant hand — and its injured fingers remain swollen and sore. He's not complaining, though.
"I've been trying to focus on what is possible and what I can do ... but occasionally, I still drop things," he said, chuckling.
Since the accident, Radloff has hired a neighbor to clear snow from his driveway. "My wife retired me from snow blowing," he said, again laughing. However, he keeps the glove he was wearing on Feb. 29 in his garage as a reminder to never do anything quick.
"Quick is a recipe for something bad to happen," said Radloff, who hopes that sharing his story will prevent someone else from suffering a similar injury.
Critical thinking challenge: What lessons can we learn from Jim Radloff ?
Define this word: dominant
- Posted on January 18, 2013