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Doctors Reattach Teen's Arm Severed in Pasta Machine

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By NECN

Seventeen-year-old Brett Bouchard is back on his feet less than a month after he cut off his right arm in an accident at the restaurant where he works in upstate New York.

"I've had my ups and downs, but I've been very optimistic about it. I mean, it's all you can do. You gotta get through it," he said.

The mishap occurred while Bouchard was cleaning an industrial pasta maker, severing his right and dominant arm below the elbow.

Still, the high school senior from Massena, New York, was able to apply a tourniquet, retrieve his severed limb and get help.

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Seventeen-year-old Brett Bouchard is back on his feet less than a month after he cut off his right arm in an accident at the restaurant where he works in upstate New York.NECN

"I'm very proud of this boy. He's always been like that. He says he doesn't know how he knew how to do that, but he's always been that way. He's always been the kid that figures things out," Brett's mother, Rebecca Martin, said.

About six hours after the accident, Bouchard was flown more than 300 miles to Massachusetts General Hospital. Within 20 minutes of his arrival, Bouchard was in surgery, surrounded by an OR team of at least 15 people.

"There wasn't a sharp cut. His arm had actually been sort of pulled off, which makes it a more difficult thing to treat," Dr. Kyle Eberlin said.

Bouchard has undergone four operations at MGH. The first to reattach his limb lasted about 10 hours. The third one was the longest - about 14 hours - as doctors moved skin from other parts of his body to cover his arm.

"He's gone through almost 40 hours of surgery already," Dr. Curtis Cetrulo said.Bouchard's says he's looking forward to seeing some of the city.

He's a fan of the Montreal Canadiens, but is thinking switching to the Bruins given his treatment in Boston.

"This is life changing. Now I might have to switch to Boston," he said.

After the accident, Brett Bouchard, 17, was able to apply a tourniquet, retrieve his arm and go for help. "I'm very proud of this boy," said his mother, Rebecca Martin.NECN

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