It was a pleasure speaking with you on the phone after my son's finger was saved by your invention. As promised, I typed up the story of that crazy day. Here you are:
Wednesday, April 5th started out like any other. My 13 year old got ready for school and grabbed his backpack to walk out the door. I noticed he had something in his hand, and I watched as he tried to put it on his finger to wear as a ring. He realized it was a bit tight and struggled a tiny bit to get it off. He did. I said, "Well, don't do that again!" He wasn't listening.
Later that day during Language Arts class, Ian took out that same trinket and decided to try once again to put it on his finger. Why? We will never know!! I hope it made him happy for that one second because he soon realized that he was unable to remove the ring. Now, it was stuck. Really stuck. It was lunchtime, and Ian knew he needed help. He went to the office where the nurse took stock of the situation. She tried to help him remove the ring. In fact, the nurse, the principal, the secretary, and the janitor all tried to remove it. After their failed attempts, I received the phone call that sent my day into a downward spiral.
I raced to the school and greeted the nurse. She explained that they had tried everything, including this neat trick you can do with a piece of dental floss to remove a tight ring. They had also tried a standard ring cutter, butter, salad dressing, peanut butter, ice...nothing had worked, so she encouraged me to take him to our local fire department. I took Ian home first to give removal one more try. I figured the school had been too gentle, and I was not going to be gentle. I was going to get that ring off!!! I was wrong.
We jumped into the car and headed to the fire station. Luckily, I have a friend who works at the firehouse and she was able to phone ahead for us. They met us at the door and brought Ian into the firehouse where they began to attempt cutting the ring off with a standard ring cutter. They quickly realized that this trinket couldn't even be scratched by the weak ring cutter they were using. This was not a piece of jewelry. This was hardened steel. Ian had taken apart a bearing from his skateboard wheel. He removed the little ball bearings and was left with this nifty "ring" that made up the outer casing. The fireman were surprised, but quickly realized they did not have the tools to remove it. They sent us on our way to the ER.
Ian's finger was swelling. We had been putting ice on it, but that was not helping much at this point. We headed to the Silver Cross Emergency Room in Homer Glen which was about 35 minutes away. The closest ER in New Lenox was on bypass, so we had to travel a bit farther than we had hoped. There, Ian was taken immediately, and the staff began to work. They tried everything all over again. They even sent me to the local grocery store for more dental floss to do the string trick again. Nothing worked. Now, the swelling was much worse, and we added abrasions where the floss had cut his finger. We just kept putting ice on it to keep the swelling down.
The emergency room nurses and doctor called around to various local hospitals and fire departments. Finally, they tracked down an ER with what they called a power ring cutter. I knew this situation was bad when they offered Ian an ambulance ride to the other hospital. I decided to drive to St. Joseph's Emergency Room in Joliet. We were helped immediately, bypassing others who had been waiting for who knows how long. We still didn't know if this would work. I was on the phone with my neighbor Kurt, who works with steel. He was taking apart another bearing Ian had left in our garage to try to figure out what would or could cut this steel. I felt I needed a backup plan because we had no idea and no assurances that this power ring cutter would be successful. Kurt also mentioned that the use of ice would make the steel shrink. I felt hopeless. We had been making it worse.
We sat behind the curtain in the ER and listened. We could hear familiar youtube video illustrating the dental floss trick. I poked my head out of the curtain and said, "We are way beyond the dental floss trick. We are here for the power ring cutter. We were told you have one." We were grateful that the doctor took our word on this and began to hunt down the power ring cutter. Apparently, this was a brand new tool which they had only recently acquired. Meanwhile, a wonderful doctor came in and assessed Ian's finger. I thanked her for her kindness and care, and she said, "Don't thank me yet." We were not out of the woods. Soon, a paramedic named Al came in with the Mooney power ring cutter. He got right to work. I remember asking, "Is it working?" And with his answer came a flood of relief. Yes, it is cutting through.
I snapped pictures throughout this ordeal and even took video of the Mooney power ring cutter as it saved Ian's finger. I'm sure his future wife will also be thankful that this tool saved the ring finger on his left hand!
We are so grateful to you and your invention. Thank you. We are working out the details of a community service project Ian intends to complete in order to raise money for the purchase of a Mooney power ring cutter for our local fire department. We were fortunate that the St. Joseph Hospital in Joliet, IL had the foresight to purchase this wonderful invention, and we hope to spread the word and get one for our local community.
Thank you so much Mr. Mooney!
Laurie (last name omitted for privacy)
and, of course, Ian (last name omitted for privacy)
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