A pianist who cut her hand with a steak knife while trying to destone an avocado has praised the medics who helped to save her musical career.
Emma Carpenter, of Bassingbourn, Cambridgeshire, was visiting a friend in Florida when she severed two tendons in her left hand.
The 22-year-old was attempting to destone an avocado when the tip of a steak knife went through the stone, into her cupped hand and out of the other side.
She went to a hospital where it was confirmed she had cut through two tendons, then booked the earliest flight home and went straight from the airport to Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge.
She is now able to play musical instruments again, but said the guitar was “still a challenge because of the pressure it takes to fret the strings”.
“But I am getting there with special exercises and hand massage,” she said.
The performer, who works in film, on stage, in bars, and at corporate events and weddings, said: “I was really terrified that it was going to be the end of my musical career, as I wouldn’t be able to play any form of instrument.
“Now I have everything to look forward to!”
Former Newcastle University music student Ms Carpenter is working part-time as a psychology assistant at a hospital in Bassingbourn as she continues her exercises.
She has played the flute since 11, the piano since 12 and the guitar since 16, adding: “I love my work, but at the same time I cannot wait to relaunch my musical, singing and acting career too.”
He said: “We aim for excellent results and for someone like Emma I was extremely conscious that anything less than an excellent result was likely to impact on her career.
“She made a full recovery with great results thanks to the close team working between the Ely Hand Clinic, the dressing clinic, and our CUH hand therapists.
“Everyone here at Ely and CUH wishes Emma well in realising her ambitions.”
Ms Carpenter said: “The NHS gets a lot of negative press about the time it takes to be seen, but my experience was that the service was immaculate at every stage.
“I was at Ely the very next day and so relieved to be in the hands of Mr Reid, who was so meticulous, reassuring, and absolutely determined to do the very best job for me.
“The occupational therapists in hand therapy were brilliant and very conscious of my need to be able to play musical instruments.”