Fishermen - let this be a lesson.
When out in a boat, intending to bleed a kawhai to make for better eating, do watch your aim, and use a short knife, not a long one.
NEVER go for the hand instead of the kawhai, or the results could be very painful and - for the next six weeks at least - very frustrating.
This fishing mishap severed the main tendon to the victim's thumb. Victim thought he could continue fishing, once he'd slapped a few plasters over the cut, but with the thumb hanging down, useless and lifeless, the thought of catching more fish was abandoned. So, it was back to shore, off to A&E, then a quick shunt to the hospital.
We might moan about our health system (and we d0), often, but there are times when one is left of awe of it too - as we were yesterday. The service was friendly, slick and professional. The victim was quickly processed, x-rayed and vital signs checked, and then I accompanied him into the surgeon's consulting room, which quickly became the operating room.
It was 6pm on a Sunday night and (forgive the bad-taste pun), the team was operating with a skeleton crew, so the victim's wife lent a hand. I fetched surgical supplies from the cupboard, answered the phone (you'd be amazed how many people hurt their hands in Auckland on the weekend - no wonder our health system is stuffed), and I hitched up hastily donned surgical gowns so the brilliant doctors would have unimpeded access to my husband's hand. (There's self interest here too - I want him back in the kitchen as quickly as possible.)
In between assisting my new bezzy mates and stroking the victim's worried brow, he was texting his daughter (as a diversion) in Wanaka and giving her instructons on how to fix the shower rose in her bathroom.
As well as playing a vital role in the operation, I was chief photographer as well. I was encouraged to get good close ups and when I mucked up the iphone camera setting, the surgeon put it right for me.
I know I probably shouldn't have had fun, but I did and I even said to the gowned ones: "Wait till I tell the Girls! This is just like Grey's Anatomy!" And all this to the soothing sounds of Michael Buble.
Please don't let this record of quite an entertaining evening in an operating theatre encourage another fisherman to be cavalier with a long bladed knife. Six weeks - and probably longer - without any fishing at all should be enough to discourage further reckless behaviour.