Following a motorcycle accident at the age of 17 that destroyed the brachial plexus network of nerves in his right shoulder, now 37-year old Mark Holmgren of Edmonton, Canada has been left without the use or feeling of his right arm. And now, twenty years later, he's had the arm amputated, AND got to keep it so he could display the bones. Heck yeah, why let doctors take home all the cool stuff -- that's my motto.
"At first it was: I'm going to wait, they'll be able to fix it, they're coming up with new stuff, give me a robotic arm, stuff like that and I've been waiting too long," he recalled.
"I just decided to remove it. Move on, I guess."
He contacted doctors at the University of Alberta hospital, who agreed to amputate his right arm in April.
About a month after the surgery, Holmgren got a call from the lab saying his arm was ready to be picked up.
"I carried it out of the hospital in a garbage bag," said Holmgren. "I actually kept it in my freezer for about a month."
He admits that shopping around and asking taxidermy businesses to clean a human arm was a bit of a challenge.
"A couple of them told me no, like right away. There was no way that they were going to touch human body parts."
"I'm just going to keep it probably behind the sink in the kitchen. I'm happy I did it. It's just not for everybody."
Honestly, I would have thought more taxidermy businesses would have wanted the job. Probable laws aside, I just assumed getting to work on humans was like the PEAK of taxidermy. Like playing on a professional sports team. You know I asked to keep the first metal plate I had in my arm when I broke it. I bent it when I broke my arm the second time so they replaced the stainless steel with titanium. *knocking on forearm* Haven't had a problem since. "Hey what do you say--" Except the requests for cyborg handjobs.
Keep going for a shot of the arm tastefully displayed on a throw blanket, but if you go to this article and scroll through the 'related images' at the bottom you can see some shots of the arm prior to and in various stages of the taxidermy process (read: being eaten by insects, not for the squeamish).
Thanks to Julian H, who agrees Mark must be absolutely killing it with the 'Can I lend a hand?' jokes.