Saved hand

Just days after his accident, his hand is bloody and wrapped in thick gauze. But, 37-year-old Patrick Laulu is lucky to have this hand. It had been detached from his arm for more than 24 hours. "I thought my hand was gone,  it's no more," said Laulu. The Coast Gaurd rescued Laulu in the Bering Sea after he accidentally cut off his right hand onboard a fishing boat. He had been working near a fish-cutter when rough seas knocked him off balance. "My right hand goes through the blade of the saw," said Laulu. Laulu said his arm went numb. Shock likely dulled the pain. As for his severed hand, crewmembers placed it on ice until rescue crews arrived. Surgeons say that made all the difference. "I've never seen a case with a hand coming to us over 24 hours where we were successful. We knew that the tissue had gone a long time without having a blood flow, and that's the limiting factor," said surgeon Thomas Trumble . In all, surgeons re-attached two arteries , three veins, 16 tendons, five bones and two nerves. But Laulu still faces months of intense therapy which should help him regain limited use of his hand.