Ex-Browns WR Mohamed Massaquoi Reveals Hand Was Amputated After ATV Accident

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistFebruary 12, 2018

Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Mohamed Massaquoi runs after a reception during NFL football training camp, Monday, July 29, 2013, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)
John Raoux/Associated Press

Former NFL wide receiver Mohamed Massaquoi revealed in a video for the Players' Tribune that he had to have his left hand amputated following an ATV accident in April 2017. 

Doctors originally tried to save the hand after the incident, but Massaquoi said that over the days and weeks following the accident he had to have all of his fingers removed, until only his thumb remained. His thumb was able to be saved, and he now wears a prosthetic hand that has replaced his other four fingers.

In the video, Massaquoi described the accident while he was riding his ATV with friends:

"Making a turn—I take the turn too sharply. And before I know it, my ATV loses control. The next thing I feel is something just feels like an explosion just went off in my hand. I'm in shock, so I don't feel it. But I'm very aware of what's going on, just because there’s blood everywhere.

"What I’m seeing and what my friends are seeing are completely different—they're seeing what actually happened, I'm seeing what I think happened. I’m thinking that I just broke my hand. My friend, on the other hand, thinks my hand just went through a meat grinder."

He also spoke about going from a profession as an NFL wide receiver for which his hands were his most important asset, to adjusting to life without his left hand. He then touched on his emotional recovery process after losing his hand and the perspective it gave him:

"It's a part of me that will never come back, so there's no way that I can deny it. So one of the best quotes that I had was, whenever you're dealing with some type of trauma, give yourself a chance to actually feel it, deal with it, so that you can move on from it. I went through denial, I went through fear of what was going to come, and it just gives you a perspective of how precious life is, how fast things can change. You go from joy-riding to being in a helicopter to find out your hand is going to be amputated."

Massaquoi, 31, spent four seasons in the NFL with the Cleveland Browns (2009-12), registering 118 receptions for 1,745 yards and seven touchdowns. He attempted to make the team for both the New York Jets and Jacksonville Jaguars before the 2013 season but was cut from both organizations in training camp.

Now, Massaquoi is just thankful for the things he still has in his life.

"I guess when I look at my hand, I'm just thankful," he noted. "I'm thankful for the process. I'm thankful for the little things in life. I'm thankful for family, for friendship, thankful for real things."

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