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Bar manager nearly loses THUMB after Corona bottle 'exploded' in his hand

·5-min read

A bar supervisor who dodged getting coronavirus has nearly lost his THUMB after a Corona bottle 'exploded' in his hand.

Nigel Hayes, 54, was stocking the fridges behind the bar of the restaurant when he retrieved two Corona bottles off the stock shelves in the cellar.

As the two bottles clinked together in his hand, one spontaneously exploded, slicing Nigel's hand wide open and nearly taking his entire thumb off.

Nigel was rushed to hospital where doctors worked diligently to save his thumb on September 26.

Nigel, who lives in West Drayton, London, said: "It was as simple as picking up a couple of bottles. I didn't drop them, it was by no fault of my own by any means - they literally clinked together and exploded.

"It just happened so quickly. The bottle exploded, and the next thing I know, there's blood spurting everywhere so my first thought was I better stop that!

"The laceration between the forefinger and the thumb is so deep that if the bone hadn't been there, it would have severed the thumb completely.

"It wasn't until I did a bit of research later that I realised the seriousness of the problem with Corona bottles exploding.

"I stock up every night of the week, I've worked on and off in pubs and bars for years and I've never seen anything like it."

Bar supervisor and stock manager Nigel was handling the restocking of the bar at The Water's Edge Canal Cottages where he has worked for the past three years alongside his job as a musician.

Taking two Corona bottles off the shelves in the cellar, Nigel was taken by surprise when one exploded in his hand as they clinked together.

He said: "We'd sold a couple of Coronas so I picked up a couple of Coronas to restock the fridge, picking one up and then another, putting them both in the same hand.

"The second they clinked together, the first bottle that I had been holding exploded - there's no other way of explaining it.

"It just happened so quickly. The bottle exploded, and the next thing I know, there's blood spurting everywhere so my first thought was I better stop that!

"I knew it was bad as soon as it happened because of the amount of blood so I wasn't thinking about what had happened but that I needed to get it sorted - now!"

Nigel's supervisor examined his hand and sent him to A&E at Hillingdon Hospital where doctors found he had extensive nerve damage and his flexal tendon had been severed.

Referred to the plastic surgery unit at Whittington Hospital, Nigel had to wait an agonising two days for the results of his Covid test so he could undergo surgery.

He went under the knife last Friday [1] so doctors could reattach the nerve endings and the flexal tendon where it had been severed between his thumb and wrist.

Nigel said: "The laceration between the forefinger and the thumb is so deep that if the bone hadn't been there, it would have severed the thumb completely.

"It was the bone that stopped the thumb coming completely off.

"They had to make an incision in my wrist to locate the flexal tendon as it is like an elastic band that had sprung back up my arm when it got severed.

"They basically had to pull the tendon back up my hand and reattach it to where it had been severed from my thumb."

Following the surgery, Nigel was put in a cast to restrict movement and to protect the wound from exposure.

Yesterday [6], he had the cast removed so he could carry out the first session of his eight week physiotherapy course and currently has a splint on his hand.

Nigel said: "We don't know if I'll gain full movement of my hand again, they'll reassess it when my eight weeks of physiotherapy is finished.

"With this injury, I can't work in the bar and I can't make music. I can't play any instrument, I can't operate the mouse, I can't do anything.

"I'm not going to be able to survive on statutory sick pay, that's not even £100 a week. I have debts, credit card bills, stuff that needs to be paid and I don't have any money coming in. 

"I've spoken to a few credit card companies that I owe money to and they've been very nice about it and have agreed to put me on hold for eight weeks. 

"My work have been great too - the owner of the company actually picked me up yesterday [6] to take me to the hospital, they're being very supportive.

"Although this happened in the workplace, it's not anything to do with the company I work for, it's not their fault at all, it's a manufacturing fault from Corona."

A spokesperson for Budweiser Brewing Group UK&I said: "The health and safety of our teams, customers and consumers is of utmost importance to us and we take issues like these extremely seriously. 

"In regards to Nigel's case, we have searched our records thoroughly and cannot see that we have been contacted about it. 

"We'd ask that Nigel or his employer please gets in touch through our official channels so we can progress with a full investigation."

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