Newton man loses fingers, not humor, in 4th of July weekend incident

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NEWTON, Kan. (KSNW) – An incident with fireworks over the 4th of July weekend has left Newton man Scott Jones without four of his fingers.

Jones lit a mortar shell with a short fuse that exploded in his hand in rural Hesston on July 5. He reports, Hesston EMS arrived within seven minutes and whisked him off to Wesley Medical Center, where he would undergo amputation just hours later.

The surgery resulted in the loss of Jones’ four fingers on his right hand. Jones now meets weekly with his surgeon to determine whether or not he can keep his thumb.

“Hopefully, my thumb takes and I don’t lose my thumb. I got my thumb, and obviously no fingers. I might take up actually hitchhiking as a profession,” Jones said.

Never lacking a sense of humor, Jones’ livelihood is also changed by the amputation. Jones owns a paintless dent repair and auto body shop in Newton.

“If anybody could take this situation and make it a positive situation, it’s dad. He tends to think the best of things,” daughter Jessica Williams said.

For now, he is focused on relearning skills with his left hand and dealing with phantom pain and damaged nerves. He also takes the opportunity to discuss the dangers of fireworks. A brief conversation with his next-door neighbor about what happened inspired the neighbor to soak his remaining fireworks in water and bury them in the backyard.

“Everything happens for a reason. If I can save one finger on one child, just something, that will be worth my fingers,” Jones told KSN.

Jones did not have full insurance coverage, so a medical expenses fund has been set up at Intrust Bank under his name. A benefit softball tournament is being planned for October.

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