By Bill Shields

HYANNIS (CBS) – A Cape Cod man lost his leg in a wood chipper accident, but he’s alive thanks to his co-workers.

“I don’t have good luck, but I feel like someone was watching over me, because I’m alive now and I didn’t think I was going to be,” says James Blaney, as he sits in Cape Cod Hospital, minus most of his left leg.

Several days ago, he was part of a three-man tree crew and Blaney was feeding branches into an industrial wood chipper, when he was suddenly pulled into the machine. His two co-workers weren’t looking but something made Kevin McCarthy turn around.

James Blaney lost his leg in a wood chipper accident (WBZ-TV)

“I saw him going into the chipper so I immediately went and hit the reverse bar on it,” said McCarthy.

The third man, Nick Callahan, grabbed McCarthy’s belt, and made a tourniquet around Blaney’s thigh.

“The only thing that was going through my mind was that I’m probably going to die,” Blaney said.

EMTs got him to Cape Cod Hospital but his left leg had to be amputated.

“He’s unlucky, but he’s also the luckiest guy in the world,” said Cape Cod Hospital lead surgeon Dr. Larry Novak. “He survived a terrible, terrible accident and he should do very well.”

Blaney says when he is done with rehab he won’t go back to doing tree work, but he would like to help people possibly overcome addiction.

“I don’t know why my leg got cut off but there’s got to be a silver lining there,” Blaney said.

Bill Shields

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