Clarksburg School teenager suffers horrific meat grinder accident

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   A Clarksburg High School junior, Will Rhodes, 16, is in Vanderbilt Medical Center in Nashville after an accident at Clarksburg Supermarket where he works after school.

The accident in the meat department happened Sept. 16 and involved a severe injury to his right hand and arm as the supermarket was about to close for the day. He was reportedly cleaning the meat grinder.

He is the son of William and Reba Rhodes and Jennifer Wilson.

The quick and calm action of one of his friends and classmates, Noah Milam, also 16, is being hailed as his savior as well as the actions of Debbie Cannon, APRN-BC, FNP, who is a nurse practitioner at the Clarksburg Family Clinic, and Crystal Butler.

According to sources, he has had two surgeries with probably more to be scheduled. He will also be fitted for a prosthesis while in the hospital, but seems to be doing well considering the circumstances.

Terry Altom, who owns the supermarket, said Monday that he is so devastated over the situation that he couldn’t discuss it, but planned to go see Will.

“I’m just devastated at the moment,” he said. “It’s just a tragedy.”

Will was flown by helicopter from the Clarksburg High School parking lot to Vanderbilt.

Scout leader Andrew Stokes said he has had both Will and Noah in the scouts. Noah, who pulled off his shirt to make a tourniquet until first responders arrived, had training in first aid while in the scouts, according to Stokes.

“Noah was able to perform and remain calm in this emergency situation from the training he had in the scouts,” said Stokes.

Clarksburg Mayor Howell Todd called it a horrific tragedy for Will and his family and for Terry Altom, who is an anchor in the Clarksburg community.

“No one runs a better business than Terry,” said the mayor. “He employs a lot of young people and he strictly goes by the book. I talked to him this morning (Monday) and I know he is just devastated by it.”

Cards may be sent to Will at: Room 9647, Vanderbilt Hospital, 1211 Medical Center Dr., Nashville, TN. 37232.

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