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Published: Wednesday, 10/19/2005

Doctors try to reattach fingers cut off by saw


DEFIANCE - Surgeons at the University of Michigan Medical Center in Ann Arbor were working last night to reattach the fingers of an 18-year-old Defiance man who accidentally cut them off Monday.

Coty White was cutting wood for a table when the miter saw he was using accidentally sliced across the middle of his left hand, severing his fingers, his mother, Naomi Fortman, said.

Mr. White, who is right-handed, was holding the wood with his left hand when the accident happened about 8:40 p.m.

He wrapped rags around his hand, ran inside the home, awakened his mother, and told her to call for help, Mrs. Fortman said. "I was flipping out," she said about 7 last night during a phone interview while in a waiting room at the hospital.

At the time, her son had been in surgery for 15 hours, and she was anxiously awaiting word of her son's prognosis. "The waiting is terrible," she said.

After the accident, Mrs. Fortman took her son's fingers out of the saw and put them on ice, hoping they could be reattached.

Mr. White, a senior at Tinora High School, was taken to the Defiance Regional Medical Center, then flown to the UM Medical Center, the Defiance County Sheriff's Office said.

Doctors at the hospital told Mrs. Fortman there was a good chance the fingers could be reattached and that he would be able to use his left hand again.

Mrs. Fortman described her son as "a sweet kid." She said he hasn't decided what he wants to do after graduation but is working hard to get his diploma.

Mr. White became interested in woodworking because it was something he and his stepfather, Rex Fortman, enjoyed and could do together, Mrs. Fortman said. He was working alone Monday when the accident occurred.

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