DJ Belzile sits with his two daughter, McKinley and Kathryn at his home with a photo of his oldest daughter Jocelyn.
Photo by Katherine Clark.
Willsboro Family and friends of DJ Belzile will be holding a benefit fundraiser to help after an accident that took away his ability to work.
On Oct. 22, Belzile went out to cut down a dead tree, something he said he had done countless times before in his more than 20 years of being a logger.
"I thought I had done everything right, looking back I did everything I had done hundreds of times before, but then you have to think this is just about the second most dangerous job in the world," Belzile said.
As the tree he was cutting down was almost completely cut through, it split and fell back toward him. Belzile was able to get his body out of the way but the tree crushed his left hand into another tree as it came down.
Friends rushed Belzile to the Smith House where Ron Jackson sent him to Fletcher Allen Health Care in Burlington, Vt. where a hand specialist was waiting to see him.
"Within the hour I was being treated by the special care unit, they knew exactly what to do," Belzile said.
In the accident, Belzile lost three fingers, including his thumb, and the skin of his hand was literally pulled off when he pulled his hand from under the tree.
After four surgeries and with three more planned, Belzile said the experience has been humbling.
"You never think this sort of thing is ever going to happen to you, but then you think there are some people who don't come home from something like this and I did," he said.
Belzile, who is left handed, dramatically hurt that hand. The self-employed logger said he is going to have to relearn everything right handed and that sitting home is not ideal for him.
"I want to work and get back out there and the doctors say it could happen as early as next spring, but theres some work I'll have to do to get there," he said.