WARNING: GRAPHIC PHOTO BELOW
A Florida woman who sliced through a nerve and severed an artery in her hand while trying to cut an avocado said she still has numbness in her ring finger nearly one year after the accident. Melissa Norgart, a personal trainer and mother of two, said she was using a new 10-centimeter paring knife to get the pit out of an avocado when the tool slipped and ripped through her left hand.
“It went halfway through my palm,” Norgart, 46, told SWNS. “It made a sound like when the killer stabs someone in a horror movie.”
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Norgart’s parents rushed her to an urgent care center, where her wound was stitched, but it bled through the bandages in less than an hour and she was taken to the hospital via ambulance. There, X-rays reportedly revealed that she had sliced through an artery and severed a digital nerve.
Despite the severity of Norgart’s injury, due to avocados’ recent rise in popularity, it’s not necessarily a rarity. In fact, it’s become so common that some doctors and the media have dubbed it “avocado hand.” One doctor at Westminster Hospital told The Times of London that he was stitching up victims of “avocado hand” up to four times per week.
The British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons has called for warning labels to be placed on the skin of the fruit along with instructions on how to safely slice it as to avoid the lasting trauma that Norgart has.
Dr. Anup Patel, Norgart’s plastic surgeon at Orlando Hand Surgery Associates, told SWNS that they repaired her digital nerve using microsurgery. Norgart was then put in a cast and told to stay out of the gym until her wounds healed.
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“We would see between five and 10 cases of hand injuries caused specifically by avocados every year,” Patel told SWNS, adding that he’s even seen patients who have lost fingers due to these accidents.
In June 2018, former “Bachelorette” contestant Andi Dorfman told her Instagram followers that she too fell victim to the injury. She posted a post-op photo of herself in a Cedars-Sinai Hospital bed with bandages on her hand and fingers.
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“Successful surgery!” she posted. “Tendons and nerves have been reunited. Thanks for all of the sweet messages. If only the avocado had been so kind. But seriously y’all are the best!”