Gofundme started for Lunenburg County craftsman after table saw maiming
Cameron Maclean had cut a piece for a magazine rack more than 100 times, but a snag would result in him losing his middle finger.
“I was just cutting a piece that I make on the table saw, pushing it through with my hand, and it sort of bound on the back-end of the blade, kicked back and carried my hand across the blade with it,” recalled the Offcut Studio owner of the Sept. 19 accident.
“This just flew right out of the blue.”
The table saw slashed the underside of Maclean’s right index finger on an angle from the tip to knuckle, halfway through the bone, but his middle finger suffered more severe damage.
“It was just attached by whatever was left,” recalled the certified furniture maker, who has been practising his craft for about 12 years.
Anneke van Bommel, Maclean’s wife, drove him to the South Shore Regional Hospital from the studio at their Conquerall Mills home. Maclean got X-rays and treatment for the pain at the Bridgewater hospital before being sent to a plastic surgeon in Halifax.
The studio owner received about a dozen stitches on his index finger, but lost his middle finger.
“It was all kind of a blur,” recalled Maclean of his time at the Halifax hospital.
Two days after the accident, Rachel van Bommel, Maclean’s sister-in-law, offered to set up a Gofundme campaign for him.
“I wasn’t too sure I wanted to do it at first, because I did kind of feel it was charity, but I did also realize that, you know, I needed charity,” said Maclean, “I needed some help.”
As a stay at home mom without any income, Rachel couldn’t help them financially but wanted to do something. She set up the fundraising campaign on Sept. 24 with a goal of $3,000.
“I knew this was not a small accident for a craftsperson that works with his hands,” said Rachel, Anneke’s sister. “Money is not something they should be worried about at this time.”
Eighty-eight people had donated a total of $9,505 by Thursday afternoon. The funds will go toward costs associated with Maclean’s living expenses, as he’s unable to work, and for travelling to appointments and other medical costs.
“It’s been pretty amazing, both for the financial relief, because I don’t know how long I’m going to be off work with this, and just emotionally to see how many people who wrote nice words and donated,” said the studio owner, who estimates he does about 30 orders a month.
Maclean, whose index finger is bandaged and in a brace, had an appointment with a plastic surgeon in Halifax on Wednesday and is taking it day by day.
He is to have surgery at an unknown date to reattach the tendons and will undergo physiotherapy to regain as much movement as possible.
“I know I’ll have use of my right hand, but I don’t know what kind of dexterity and things,” said the left-handed craftsperson.
“There’s been so many people that have reached out: People I’ve only met once, people I’ve never met, people that are just friends of family or friends of friends,” he said.
“It’s been maybe the most positive thing of all this, to just see what a strong community there is around me and just how compassionate all these people have been.”
Maclean also expressed gratitude for his wife, who has been “doing everything and put her work on the back burner,” and the hospital staff.
“Cameron is a very considerate and gentle guy that will go out of his way to help anyone in need and is pretty much the definition of kindness,” said Rachel. “Maybe he’s getting that karma back.”
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A Gofundme campaign has raised $9,505 and counting for Cameron Maclean, owner and operator of Offcut Studio, after he lost his middle finger and severely injured his index finger in a table saw accident at his studio on Sept. 19.