Chinese ‘tough guy’ saws off his own leg to avoid hospital fees

English: Line art drawing of tourniquet.

English: Line art drawing of tourniquet. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

OK so today’s story is grim, gory gruesome so anyone of a squeamish disposition should turn away now.  I can’t imagine the depth of despair that someone is driven to to cut off their own leg.  You hear stories of people trapped in the wilderness, arms or legs caught in rocks which they can’t release, hacking off limbs until they’re free but this guy did in in his own home, unable to afford the medical treatment.  Such a condemnation of a society in which this is allowed to happen.


How To Cut Off Your Leg

If you don’t have the wealth
or your Department of Health
says “get on your bike”, “we cannot help”
then here are the steps to do it yourself.

  1. Sanity check.
    Are you sure you want to do this?
    Absolutely, undoubtedly, doubly sure?
  2. Vanity check.
    One hundred percent sure?
    I implore you – Reflect.
    Detect any doubt?
    Still time to pull out.
  3. Gather the tools of the trade:
    a saw, a knife with the sharpest of blades;
    a tourniquet stick,
    a tourniquet rag;
    something to bite on, a gag;
    a bottle of scotch or vodka or rum
    to kill off the germs and numb
    the pain.
  4. Light a fire.
    Wait ‘til the coals are soul-searchingly hot.
    Set a rod of steel to rest on top.
    Watch as it glows, as the redness goes
    transcending to white, fright-white.
  5. Tie the tourniquet rag around your leg
    and twist the stick.
    Turn the peg tighter,
    you’re a natural born fighter;
    turn like you’re winding the hands of a clock,
    tick-tock, tick-tock,
    the countdown begins with each turn of the pin.
  6. Take a slug of the scotch,
    and another, another, another;
    then smother the skin
    where you’ll cut the first notch.
  7. Then slice with the knife.
    Slice firm, slice fast down through the flesh
    through the muscles and sinews
    deep to the bone.
    You’re drenched in sweat
    as you bite on the gag,
    jaws clenched tight
    so your screams are just moans.
  8. Take the saw and establish a rhythm:
    back and forth,
    to and fro,
    go man go,
    fast and slow,
    hear the sound
    as bone is ground,
    don’t fall asleep,
    keep on and on,
    feel the hum
    of the saw-blade song
    until you’re through.
  9. Then take the steel, white-hot
    bedded on lumps of coal
    and sear the stump,
    seal it, anneal it
    cauterise the whole.
  10. Pray while you watch
    and finish the scotch.


11th October 2013 – headline from the Independent

Notes:  “Chinese ‘tough guy’ saws off his own leg to avoid hospital fees.”  A Chinese man has amputated his own leg using nothing more than a saw and a fruit knife, after doctors told him an infection had left him just one month to live.  Suffering from severe arterial thrombosis in both legs, surviving on a diet of ineffective painkillers in searing daily pain, and unable to pay the hospital’s fee for surgery, Zheng was forced into the makeshift surgery.  The coverage of the story has apparently lead Dr Zhang Qiang, from the Shanghai Wode Medical Centre, to promise to cover all of Zheng’s medical costs from now on.


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