A Northwest Territories man who spent the past three years with a 7.5 centimetre (3 inch) blade stuck in his back is planning to sue the health department where he was treated.
Billy McNeely, 32, was stabbed in the back during a fight three years ago, but the blade wasn’t discovered until this week.
Of the fight and medical treatment he received in Fort Good Hope, N.W.T., McNeely told the CBC in an interview:
They never took no X-rays, they just stitched me up, bandaged me up.
After the incident, McNeely says he often felt a bump on his back where he was stabbed, and the area had a constant burning sensation. He saw several doctors about his concerns, but they all told him the same thing – he was suffering nerve damage.
I’ve done some jail time in the past. The guards rub over you with a metal wand detector, and every time it hit my back in the jail it went off.
The broken blade finally came to light this week, said McNeely.
My nail caught a piece of the tip of the blade that was underneath the skin and made a little sound, so that worried me.
His girlfriend took a close look, and to her astonishment, she could see the blade sticking out. She described her reaction to CBC.
I told Billy, ‘There’s a knife sticking out of your back.’ I was scared. I was ready to pull it out with tweezers.
Instead, McNeely returned to the doctor, who pulled the 7.5 centimetre blade from his back.
Now he can’t help but wonder why it wasn’t found sooner.
I’m kind of upset with the health system. They should’ve X-rayed right off the beginning in case there was internal damage.
He was able to keep the blade, though, as a souvenir. He’s also contacted lawyers for a possible lawsuit.
“Billy McNeely, 32, was stabbed three years ago, but the weapon wasn’t found until this week.”
— Jae(@RadicalOmnivore) March 20, 2013