Tim’s Story: A Grinding Tale

Tim’s Story: A Grinding Tale

February 02, 2012


Tim Owen’s day was just like any other. That is, until he landed in Burnaby Hospital’s emergency department.

When Michael Owen and Colleen Walton received a call from their son Tim’s workplace telling them he had been seriously injured and was taken to Burnaby Hospital, Michael admits he had visions of long waits, delays, or busy staff unable to attend to him.
“Thankfully, that wasn’t the case”, says Tim, recalling the day a grinding machine became embedded into the palm of his hand.

“I was asked to help a welder with some work on a barge and I was using a grinding machine to clean off an area of the wall.  At the time, I didn’t realize the grinder was fitted with the wrong type of disc, aluminum, not steel, like it should have been.  And, unfortunately for me, I forgot to remove my woolen gloves and replace them with the proper leather gloves for the work I had to do, Tim remembers.

As I was grinding the barge wall, I didn’t notice that the grinder disc caught part of my glove.  Within just a few seconds, the grinder basically ‘ate’ my glove, and when there was nothing left for the disc to pull on, the grinder itself, spun around so quickly, it embedded itself into the palm of my hand.

As the grinder continued to spin, pushing further into the palm of my hand, I couldn’t reach around with my other hand to turn off the power switch, and so I had to stomp onto the power cord with my foot to yank the cord out from the power supply.
Once I had it turned off, I started to shout for help, but because the ventilation fans were running, the welder couldn’t hear me, and so, I climbed, one-handed up the ladder and out of the barge with the grinder still in my hand, Tim recalls.”

Tim went to his Supervisor, who drove him directly to Burnaby Hospital’s emergency department.

“As soon as the nurse in the waiting area saw me, she sent me straight into the back to see a doctor.  By the time I sat down on one of the beds, the pain was becoming unbearable.  Dr. Krajina and a nurse cut most of the glove off, but the grinder had driven about four to six inches of the glove inside the wound,” says Tim.

Once the material from the glove had been totally removed, Dr. Krajina cleaned the wound and ordered x-rays, which amazingly, showed that there was no nerve or bone damage. Tim was sent up to see one of Burnaby Hospital’s plastic surgeons, Dr. Peers, who agreed with Dr. Krajina’s assessment, telling Tim that he was an extremely lucky young man. 

Tim expects to make a full recovery, “I’m really happy.  It could have been so much worse.  I received immediate care, and great attention.  I’m very thankful for the care I received from the doctors and nurses at Burnaby Hospital.”

Burnaby Hospital’s emergency department is one of the busiest in BC.  Each day, our emergency department cares for almost 200 people.  Your donations give our doctors and nurses the tools they need to diagnose illness, take away pain, and save lives.

Your donations are put to work immediately, helping people and saving lives.

* * *

Did you know that Burnaby Hospital’s busy emergency department cares for almost 200 people daily? Whether by accident or illness, our emergency department is here for you when you need us most.

Critical equipment needs in emergency for this year include a:

  • Rapid Infusion Warmer ($20,000)
  • Laryngoscope ($12,000)
  • Blanket Warmer ($7,500)