Baroness bus crash victim faced amputation
Baroness bus crash victim John Baizley faced having his arm amputated following the horror accident that saw the band’s vehicle plunging 30ft off a bridge.
The drama took place in England in a heavy rainstorm after the bus brakes failed, and put the entire US band and their driver in hospital.
Last week guitarist Baizley, who remains in a wheelchair, recounted the “horrible silent goodbye” he and the driver shared as they realised the crash was inevitable.
Now he’s revealed a planned three-hour operation lasted nearly three times as long while doctors fought to make sense of the bone fragments remaining in his left arm.
He tells Metal Sucks: “My surgeons did an incredible job – I can tell they even pleased themselves. The day before surgery we were talking about amputation or not having any use of my hands.
“Essentially the upper bone in my arm was turned into dust. They couldn’t tell what fragments went where, everything was so misplaced. What was supposed to be a three-hour surgery ended being an eight-hour surgery. The doctors were telling my wife and my mother that the didn’t know what was going on, it would be another hour, another hour – and everyone was getting really worried.
“When I woke up they asked if I could make a fist, and it was no problem they were happy. The were surprised with what I had been left with, but unsurprised with what I had not been left with: feeling on the top of most of my arm. I can’t feel a thing there and probably won’t ever.
“There’s a constant electric pain in my hand. It’s not an easy thing to deal with, but by comparison to no arm or a useless hand, sure – bring the pain on.”
Baizley is continuing with physical therapy and reports his bandmates are well on their way to recovery. But he says emotional convalescence is as important as feeling better physically.
“I have to remain optimistic – I have to, or I don’t think I’m likely to see anything improve dramatically. I’d like to say we’ll be back as soon as we’re physically capable. That will be a huge component in becoming mentally okay again.
“It’s like having a fear of flying: there’s no way to stay on the ground and deal completely with your fear. You have to approach it, engage it and overcome it – and not without some pain.
“If one of the after-effects of this is we all have reservations about touring or traveling by bus or whatever, if there’s some creative inhibitions or some fears about who we are and what we do or our worth as a band, the only way we can get tabs on that again is by touring.”