On June 7, Jon Metz was performing routine maintenance on the furnace in his West Hartford, Conn. home, when his left arm became lodged inside. With no response to cries for help and the looming threat of fatal infection, Jon made a decision most people can scarcely imagine: he fashioned a tourniquet and used tools within reach to sacrifice the trapped arm. He nearly succeeded. Drifting into and out of consciousness, Jon was ultimately unable to free himself and was found on his third day in the basement, thanks to concerned coworkers who couldn’t explain his absence from the office.
How is Jon doing?
Jon survived the ordeal and, after multiple surgeries, is presently in recovery. He no longer has a left arm. Doctors agree that Jon’s heroic, improvised surgery prevented the deadly infections and toxins in the damaged left arm from spreading throughout his body. Jon and the Metz family are grateful beyond measure to Jon’s friends and coworkers, the EMTs and Police & Fire departments of the Town of West Hartford, and the talented medical professionals at St. Francis Hospital.
Want to help? Donate now.
What Jon needs in order to return to a normal life is a prosthetic arm. They are expensive; Jon’s new prosthetic arm will cost over $100,000, with only a portion covered by his insurance. Please help to defray this cost by donating any amount of money using the secure PayPal link on the right. (Regrettably, contributions are not tax-deductible.) Supported by kind, generous people like you, Jon can look forward to returning to work, to enjoying hobbies like furniture-making, to playing softball, to marrying his fiancée this November—to living his life.
Donations that surpass Jon’s needs, if any, will be given to a nonprofit organization providing prosthetic care for those in need.
Jon was fortunate enough to be invited to do a follow up interview with Matt Lauer on the Today Show which aired this morning. He was accompanied on set by one of his trauma surgeons—and newfound friend—Dr. Scott Ellner of St. Francis Hospital. (I’ll post a few links below).
We recently received an excellent question via a comment by Sarah, which I think appears below on the page. The question, in a nutshell, is whether we are still trying to raise money for Jon’s medical needs. It’s an excellent question, and one that we would be remiss not to address.
Like any long term health issue, the costs of the medical devices, physical therapy, potential additional surgeries, etc., Jon will incur over the course of his lifetime are difficult to estimate. Adding to the uncertainty of their long-term financial burden, Jon’s fiancée, Melissa (a PhD in Psychology and one of the biggest inspirations for his surviving his time in his basement) has put her career on hold indefinitely to help care for Jon as he recovers–both physically and mentally–from his ordeal.
With that said, given the uncertainty Melissa & Jon face as they prepare to begin the rest of their lives together (the big day is set for 11/13/10!!!), any support folks can offer (be it prayers, cards, or donations) would be greatly appreciated!
Thank you again from the entire Metz family for all of your support!
While Jon has good days and bad days, his spirits remain high and he is very excited about the progress that has been made; more on that below. Words cannot describe how appreciative Jon is for all of the thoughts, prayers and support he has received from everyone. Thank you all!
The last month has been a whirlwind for Jon. The first step in the long road to being fitted with a prosthetic arm was a physical therapy regimen designed to maximize the mobility/range of motion of his stump. Additionally, Jon has worked extensively with a team of prosthetists to design his new arm. Thanks to everyone’s hard work, Jon was fitted with a prototype prosthetic arm in time for his brother’s wedding this past weekend! It was a wonderful–and very emotional–day for him and his family.
Going forward, Jon will continue working to learn to use his new arm. He will also be working with his prosthetists to refine the arm, and, once an ideal setup is reached a “final” arm will be fabricated.
Jon continues his recovery without complications. He is unbelievably appreciative of the outpouring of support and is eagerly learning more about the world of prosthetics! We’ve gotten a few questions about Jon’s dog, so we wanted to update you on Portia and let you know that she is doing well. Word is that Portia “broke out” when the police initially broke down Jon’s door, but was quickly collected by the neighbors. She bounced back from dehydration and was so excited to be reunited with Jon when he returned home from the hospital last week.
After his press conference yesterday, Jon had a final appointment with his primary doctor before being discharged from the hospital. He has several appointments in the coming days to continue to ensure that his wound is healing properly. Jon is in good spirits and very much appreciates all of your support and encouragement.
See the link below for a Hartford Courant article with the latest on Jon’s recovery: