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Man whose arms were severed goes home


ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Six weeks after his arms were torn off in a farm accident, John Thompson reluctantly left the protective confines of the hospital where they were reattached and flew home to North Dakota.

"I want to go home, but it's a little early," the 18-year-old high school senior said yesterday before he left North Memorial Medical Center in Robbinsdale, Minn., by helicopter.

He was taken to a hospital in Harvey, N.D., for a quick checkup and then flown 20 miles to his farm home near Hurdsfield, N.D.

Mr. Thompson, who lost 20 pounds during his hospital stay, said before he got into the helicopter at North Memorial that he felt great. But he admitted that going home, where he will not have nurses to help him perform routine daily chores, "is pretty scary."

He praised the nurses and physicians at the hospital, and said with a broad smile, "I came down in three pieces and I'm going home in one."

Mr. Thompson and his father, Larry, were flown to St. Aloisius Hospital in Harvey. His mother, Karen, who flew home Monday, met them at the hospital.

Mr. Thompson intends to rejoin his classmates at Bowdon High School for several hours each day.

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