Kershaw Co. man cuts off his own arm - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina |

Kershaw Co. man cuts off his own arm

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KERSHAW COUNTY, SC (WIS) - A Kershaw County man is sharing his story of survival. He faced a life or death decision when his hand got stuck in a piece of farm equipment, and then a fire broke out around him. What he did next might shock you, and we have to warn you that some of the details might be disturbing.

"If I was going to die here, I was going to put up a fight, and that's basically what I did," says Sampson Parker.

For Parker, it could've all ended on his Kershaw County farm. He noticed a corn-stalk stuck in an old rusty picker. "I went up with my hand and the roller that takes the shucks off the corn had grabbed the glove and pulled my hand into the rollers."

"The more I tried pulling my hand out, the farther up my hand went."

On his knees, his hand stuck in the picker, Parker tried yelling out for help. No one answered. "Would've probably have passed out before anybody got here."

An hour passed. Parker's hand went numb and he couldn't wait any longer. With a rod he was able to jam the machine. Then, Parker took out "the John Deere pocket knife I had - started cutting away at my fingers like this."

But before he cut himself free, rod and machine started to spark. "It was almost like a gasoline fire - all of a sudden it went 'woosh'."

His right hand still stuck in the machine, Parker used his left to fight the spreading grass fire around him. "My skin was melting. It was dripping off my arm like plastic, plastic melting. I realized I was in trouble."

And he was desperate. So, Parker reached back in his pocket and grabbed his knife. "And I just jammed it into my arm, just like that, just started cutting away from the bone - just dropped."

His right arm now cut off, his body badly burnt, Parker drove to the road in front of his home. A firefighter from the town of Kershaw passed by. Doug Spinks says, "My biggest fear was this guy is going to die on me right here and there's nothing else I can do, other than what I've done."

What Spinks did was pull over, wrap Parker's arm and call for help. "I'm just thankful I was there."

So is Parker, crediting Spinks with saving his life.

On his farm, the idle corn-picker still sits. But Parker is moving on, and he says he isn't upset with anyone or anything. "Came down here, had a prayer with God and the corn picker and me. Made it easier, made peace with it."

"I'm just thankful to be alive - to do an interview with you."

Reported by Dan Tordjman

Posted by Bryce Mursch

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