Boy's Arm Reattached After Washing Machine Rips it Off

Boy's Arm Reattached After Washing Machine Rips it Off

POSTED: Sunday, January 8, 2012 - 6:12pm

UPDATED: Tuesday, January 10, 2012 - 12:18am

His Mother Reveals How it Happened

El PASO - Doctors have re-attached an 8-year-old boy's arm after it was ripped off by a washing machine at his Northeast El Paso home earlier this week.

That's according to his mother, Kristal Napper, who is speaking out for the first time since the horrific accident.

She gave NewsChannel 9 a picture of 8-year-old Kiwi Napper recovering in ICU from the re-attachment surgery at University Medical Center.

"Right now the arm is accepting the nerves,” she says. “They had to remove a vein from his ankle to put into his arm."

Napper has been by her son's side since the frightening accident three days ago at the family's Northeast El Paso home. Napper says she had just put Kiwi to bed around 9:30 p.m. Wednesday, but he snuck out of his room and went to the garage where she was washing some of his favorite Spider-Man sheets. Napper says she was in the kitchen and didn't see Kiwi go into the garage.

"He was trying to get his Spider-Man things out of there and it wrapped around his arm. Once it wrapped, it locked on and the machine was moving. He didn't yell. He didn't cry. It was more of a grunt."

Napper heard her son grunt from the kitchen but was completely unprepared for what she saw next.

"He opened the door and came to me and he was like, 'Mom look at my arm.' And as a parent my body just went into a severe shock," she says.

Kiwi's right arm had been severed at the elbow.

"The washing machine completely amputated the arm,” Napper says. “It completely removed the bottom arm and the only thing that was left there was the hand hanging by a nerve and a tendon."

Napper says she used a towel as a tourniquet to stop the bleeding until paramedics arrived.

"Me and Kiwi, we stayed calm,” she says.

Now Napper just wants to make sure this doesn't happen to another child. She wants other parents to know just how dangerous washing machines can be and to always keep a close eye one their kids.

"If you have children, you have a washing machine. Nobody thinks that their baby is going to stick his arm in there.”

The washing machine was on the spin cycle when Kiwi reached into it, she says.

Even if the re-attachment surgery is a success, doctors have told Napper that her son will probably never have full use of the arm. But Kiwi is showing signs of improvement. Napper says her son was able to start moving his fingers Sunday.

Napper says she will never own another washing machine.

Comments News Comments

to Kiwi's mom, miss Napper good luck on your sons recovery and i sincerley wish i could give you a new machine with this new technology that locks the lid until it stops. but even thought I can't i can only say may God be with you during this trying time my prayers are with you and your son kiwi and his recovery.

Sorry about the re-peats my bad LOL

Thanks to Dr. CRUZ and the medical staff in the OR at UMC. This boy's arm was saved. El Pasoans should be grateful for UMC, Texas Tech ,and The Paul L. Foster school of medicine We now are getting quality medical care because of this institutions.

Yes God bless the doctors and thank God for the services at UMC, Texas Tech and the Foster medicine school, may God give you even more knowledge and wisdom to perform even greater procedures to help save lives. And to little Kiwi, well son may God bless you and recover soon I am believing for a miracle to get your arm moving even more as the days go by son. My little grandson and I are praying for you Kiwi, God bless you and your wonderful mom who loves you so much.

Where are the investigative questions here? Washer machines have for years required not only a self-locking feature that prevents a lid from opening when the unit goes into spin cycle, but also a safety interlock that stops the spin when the lid or door is opened. What is the status on these? While this is a tragedy, it is an avoidable one. The reporter should be asking pertinent questions, not just doing a feel-good piece on the medical accomplishment of the re-attachment, remarkable as it is.

well it seems like you have never been in need of a new machine but some people just don't have the money to buy these new machines that lock up. some machines are old and still spin when the lid is opened I'm sure that if she had the money or time just to go out and buy a new one she would have done it. I myself just bought a new one in sept and i went crazy mad due to you can't open the lid because its locked. so see yes some of us just don't have new technology in our homes,its not a crime!!!

I am sincerely sorry for this young man. Even at age 8, he is independent and fearless. He is only lacking a bit of judgment but that will come in time. What I'd like to know is why that washing machine didn't stop spinning when he opened the lid. My washing machine is 15 years old and yet it is equipped with an automatic stop when opening the lid. Why didn't the Napper's machine stop? I didn't think it was an option. I thought they all stopped. My prayers are with these folks.

You can purchase a safe washing machine that will not do anything including adding water into the machine while the lid is open

yes thats right, if you have the money, but some don't have the money. i myself miss my old machine, i could add water in mid cycle stop and start without problems. these new ones don't rinse right, it takes for ever to finish a cycle and cn't add water during a cycle and you have to stand and watch until the llight goes off to open the lid..yes new technology its great. but i stil miss my old one spins better, rinses better but unfortunately some fail and this is what can happen. GOD B WTH US.

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