Surgery: Helped by a Clean Cut

Convict Robert Pennell, 26, was trimming tree limbs with a North Carolina prison road gang last month when he stumbled over a small hole. Falling forward, he stuck out his left hand to catch himself, just as a fellow prisoner swung a sharp ax. The swipe accidentally chopped off Pennell's hand at the wrist. One prisoner fashioned a tourniquet from a shoestring and a stick to keep him from bleeding to death, while another gingerly picked up the severed hand and wrapped it in a handkerchief. Pennell was rushed to North Carolina Baptist...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!