Carlos Mariotti’s life changed forever in March 2016.
The machine operator in São Ludgero, Brazil, suffered a horrific accident to his left hand when it was trapped in a machine used to make plastic tableware.
The skin of the hand was torn off and the bones and tendons were exposed, according to Barcroft TV.
Some doctors who looked at Mariotti thought amputation was the only possibility, but Dr. Boris Brandao, an orthopedic and traumatology doctor, had another solution: Insert the damaged hand into the patient’s belly to protect it from infections until skin graft operations could be done.
“In order to keep the wounded hand alive, we opened the abdomen, took off the skin and put it inside the cavity to protect it,” Brandao said at the time, according to the Independent. “The patient’s hand must stay in the pocket for about 42 days to ensure it develops new tissue and tendon material which is capable of receiving a replanted skin graft.”
Mariotti admits having it his in his abdomen took some getting used to.
“It was a really weird sensation because I could feel my fingers wiggling inside my body,” Mariotti told Barcroft. “When I moved them around my tummy protruded as I prodded about.”
When the hand was taken out 42 days later, doctors grafted skin from his left thigh on it, making it look like a fleshy boxing glove. He has adapted to it and is able to hold his phone and put toothpaste on his toothbrush.
He hopes to have additional surgery to separate four of his fingers into two separate sections, but he has to raise a substantial amount of money and said his employer isn’t helping.