Oct 12, 2023

Mother’s advice after angle grinder explodes in son’s hands: ‘Teenagers and tools don’t mix’

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Matt Bint in hospital before surgery. Photo / Supplied

Teenagers and tools don't mix.

That's the message from Tracey Bint after an angle grinder exploded in the hands of her 16-year-old son Matt when he was working on a friend's car late at night.

She said Matt was hanging out with a group of mates in Levin and cutting the vehicle's springs with an angle grinder.

Instead of cutting them part way through and hammering the rest, he completely cut through them and the spring fell on the grinder, shattering the disc and sending shrapnel flying into both his hands, his mother said.

Two friends and one of their girlfriends drove Matt to Hutt Hospital in Lower Hutt, more than an hour away, where he spent the night in A and E getting the shrapnel removed and the wounds cleaned. Matt had to wait until yesterday for surgery lasting more than four hours.

Matt has two clean but serious lacerations between the wrist and thumb on his left hand. His right hand was pretty much cut through the muscle to the bone between the wrist and thumb requiring about 36 stitches. Fortunately, there is no nerve damage, his mother said.

"He's in a lot of pain, he's tired, he's grumpy and because he was on the acute list there was a triage system," said Tracey, saying Matt spent nearly three days being tube-fed and on antibiotics and painkillers waiting for surgery.

Her son was released from the hospital today, but has to return to the hand clinic at the hospital on June 12, and will be out of action for between a month and six weeks.

Tracey Bint said it took her 24 hours to come to terms with the accident, which left her in tears on Wednesday, exhausted from a lack of sleep and not eating all day.

"I’m exhausted, driving over there [from Paraparaumu] early in the morning and not coming back until late at night," she said.

Tracey, who has taken unpaid leave from her cleaning job at Southwards Car Museum on the Kapiti Coast, leaving her financially struggling, has set up a Givealittle page for "travel costs, food, anything to get the family through this tough time".

So far, it has raised $440.

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