Pianist 'terrified' she would never play again after impaling hand as she de-stoned avocado

Emma Carpenter
The 22-year-old was attempting to destone an avocado when the tip of a steak knife went through her hand. Credit: ITV

A pianist thought she would never play again after impaling her hand with a steak knife while trying to de-stone an avocado.

Emma Carpenter, 22, was visiting a friend in Florida when she cut through her left hand after the tip of a steak knife went through the fruit, into her cupped hand and out the other side.

At hospital, it was confirmed she had cut through two tendons. The pianist then booked the earliest flight home and went straight from the airport to Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge.

Ms Carpenter, who also plays the flute and guitar and is a singer and actress, underwent surgery to rejoin the severed tendons in her hand, followed by specialist physiotherapy.

The musician, from Bassingbourn, Cambridgeshire, is now able to play 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," 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."

Dr Alex Reid who is based at Ely Hand Unit, part of Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, treated Ms. Carpenter Credit: Addenbrooke's Hospital

Consultant plastic and hand surgeon Alex Reid, who treated Ms Carpenter, said: "For someone like Emma, I was extremely conscious that anything less than an excellent result was likely to impact on her career.

"Everyone here at Ely and CUH wishes Emma well in realising her ambitions."

Ms Carpenter, who has played the flute since she was 11, the piano since she was 12, and the guitar since she was 16, 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."

Former Newcastle University music student Ms Carpenter is now working part-time as a psychology assistant at a hospital in Bassingbourn as she continues her exercises.

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