Some tales you just couldn’t make up.
Earlier this week, a poor chap sliced off his own pinky in a car door just minutes after buying an ice cream.
But one thing was about to go right with his day.
When he raced back to the ice cream van, geysering blood and carrying his own bloodied finger, cool-headed Ruby Duke was behind the counter.
Without hesitating, the Mr Whippy veteran grabbed the severed digit and plunged it straight into some ice cream.
Essentially, she made a 99 cone but with a real piece of finger instead of a flake.
Next, she used a tea towel to stop the man’s heavy bleeding. (In first aid emergencies, many everyday items can work just as well as a first aid kit.)
And once she had helped the injured man, she whipped the finger out of the ice cream and placed it in an ice bucket to keep it thoroughly cold. The man was then rushed to hospital, where his finger was re-attached.
Doctors later said that, if Ruby hadn’t acted so quickly to keep the finger cold, it would not have been saved.
The quick-thinking ice cream maiden was very modest about her sub-zero heroics. She told the Exeter Express and Echo: “I just did what I could – I didn’t have time to stop and think about it.
“He’d just bought an ice cream and was heading back to his car. Next thing, he was rushing back and asking for an ambulance because he’d severed the top of his finger off.”
Ruby added: “His hand was bleeding, so the main thing was making sure he didn’t lose too much blood.”
A relative of the casualty later said: “The operation went well but we won’t know for another 12 weeks if the procedure has fully worked.”
She added: “We are just so grateful for Ruby and her quick-witted response.
“Without her intervention, it would have probably been too late for doctors to even try and re-attach the finger.”
[First aid note: If you ever find yourself in a similar situation, try to wrap the severed limb in clingfilm or a plastic bag before you plunge it into the cold – as direct contact with ice can damage the tissue.]
Can you stomach another grisly tale? Find out the secret to surviving a severed hand.