BUSINESS

Life interupted in freak accident

PAT FRIDGEN, Echo Pilot
New cupboards are just one feature Trisha Davis is installing in her kitchen, with assistance from her father. She is anxious to get going again, so she can move into her new home.

A split second was all it took to change the busy life of Trisha Davis.

The young woman was remodeling her house, a major undertaking shared with her dad. Together she and Kevin Davis gutted the rancher on Williamson Road, and began building it to her tastes from the inside out. Davis did most of the manual work herself. Walls, plumbing, air conditioning, floors, ceilings. She did the same with her dog grooming shop next door.

The two started in January. On July 13 Davis was alone, ripping up the hardwood floor. The circular saw kicked, grabbed a piece of wood, and then her left hand.

"I screamed really hard," remembered Davis, 24. Seeing bone and flesh, she realized a Band Aid would not suffice. She wrapped her hand in a towel, wiped up the puddle of blood, kenneled her four dogs, and walked to her parents' house nearby.

Kevin and Lorena Davis called 911 and met the ambulance at the Rite Aid parking lot. The medical personnel determined Davis needed to see a hand/foot specialist, so she was airlifted from the Rescue Hose Company to York Hospital. She had clean-up surgery that day, and repair surgery two days later.

Davis lost the tips of her third finger, ring finger and pinkie, as well as bone and tendons from the latter two. The doctors essentially fused the best remaining parts of the two digits into one, which the family now calls her "rinkie".

The next eight weeks were not how Davis intended to spend her summer vacation. She wore various protective materials over her hand, bent to best facilitate healing. Due to insurance snags, she did physical therapy in York instead of locally.

The splint was removed Sept. 10, and Davis was given the green light to participate in daily activities as much as she is able. The longterm goal is full and painless function of the injured hand. She should get back nearly full strength.

She was thrilled to mow the lawn and groom a dog again.

"Every little step is a big deal," she said.

Davis carries the physical evidence of the accident, and is grateful that people don't automatically notice her fingers.

"It's been tough," she admitted. "I've accepted it. I can't change it so I make the best out of it."

She reopened her business, Eye Spy Grooming, named for the seeing eye puppies she still raises in a volunteer capacity. She is on her 11th dog.

And she is facing the unplanned bills from her medical emergency.

Davis owes $36,612 for the ride in the helicopter, and $1,000 for the ambulance.

"She's putting it in the hands of the Lord," said Lorena Davis.

Davis was grateful for a special offering taken by her church, Trinity Lutheran, and the support of her parents and sister Keisha. She has received a few private donations that helped tide her over during the months of no work. She notified her customers that she was ready to trim their canines again.

"I'm trusting my business to the Lord," she said. "He does provide. I have a lot of plans, but it takes time, money and patience. And I'm really learning patience."

She is also ready to get back to finishing the house.