Former Cleveland Browns wide receiver Mohamed Massaquoi lost most of his left hand last April in an ATV accident. Ten months later, the former second-round pick out of Georgia talked about the accident for the first time with The Players Tribune, which published a video on Monday.
The 31-year-old Massaquoi, whom the Browns drafted in 2009 with the 50th overall pick, is shown with a prosthetic device on his left hand as he talks about that fateful April day.
"I take the turn too sharply and before I know it, my ATV loses control," he said. "The next thing I feel is something that feels like an explosion just went off in my hand. I'm in shock so I don't feel it, but I'm very aware of what's going on just because there's blood everywhere.
"My friends, on the other hand, think my hand just went through a meat grinder or something like that. Meanwhile you can see the panic and the fear in everybody so you know it's not good. There's nothing that will prepare you for what's to come."
Former @NFL and @UGAFootball wide receiver @IronMassaquoi made his career catching a ball.— The Players' Tribune (@PlayersTribune) February 12, 2018
Last April, his left hand was amputated.
This is the first time he's told his story: https://t.co/cNm7qAddud pic.twitter.com/mecccJ6sZN
Massaquoi was flown by helicopter to the University of Georgia where doctors tried to save the hand.
"They put it all back together, which was a feat in itself," he said. But the next few days, reality set in as one finger after another did not respond. All that was left was his thumb.
"I'm grateful I still have it," he said of his thumb.
The adjustment has been difficult for Massaquoi, who played four seasons with the Browns, compiling 118 catches for 1,745 yards and seven touchdowns. As a rookie, he averaged 18.4 yards per catch, third best in the league behind only Mike Wallace and DeSean Jackson.
As he approaches the one-year anniversary of the accident, Massaquoi has a new outlook on life.
"I guess when I look at my hand, I'm just thankful," he said. "I'm thankful for the process. I'm thankful for the little things in life. I'm thankful for family, for friendship, thankful for real things."