CLEVELAND (AP) — Former Browns wide receiver Mohamed Massaquoi has divulged that he lost most of his left hand in an all-terrain vehicle crash last April.
Massaquoi, who starred at Georgia before he was drafted by Cleveland in the second round in 2009, revealed his prosthetic and details of his misfortune in a video posted Monday on The Players Tribune.
Massaquoi was riding ATVs with friends when he said he took a turn too sharply and crashed. The 31-year-old said it felt as if an explosion had gone off in his hand, and he was initially unaware of the severity of his injury.
"What I'm seeing and what my friends are seeing are completely different," he said, giving the first public description of his life-changing ordeal. "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 or something like that. Meanwhile you can see the panic and the fear in everybody."
Massaquoi said he was flown by helicopter to a hospital, where doctors initially tried to save his hand. However, after it didn't heal as hoped, four fingers were amputated. His thumb was spared.
He has battled denial and fear during his recovery.
"It gives you a perspective of how precious life is," he said. "How fast things can change. You go from joy-riding to getting in a helicopter to find out that your hand's going to be amputated."
Massaquoi, who spent four years with the Browns and has been out of football since, credited his family and friends for helping him come to terms with the injury.