Two days before Christmas in 2013, 26-year-old Jared Allen was nearing the end of a work day. The young machinist wondered if he should leave for the day or stay another few minutes to finish a project. He opted to stay.
It was a fateful decision. Within minutes, he was yanked into the machinery. Back then, it all happened too fast to register, but now he remembers the accident as in slow motion. He can see the lower half of his left arm twisted in the machine with his hand dangling. Coworkers rushing to help. Jared never lost consciousness. “I believe that one of my coworkers saved my life by putting a tourniquet on my arm so quickly,” he says.
“When we got to Ben Taub, there were lots of people rushing around. I paid attention to the doctors’ faces to figure out how I needed to prepare myself. I was hoping it could be repaired.”
That was not to be. His lower arm was amputated.
“Losing my arm was very humbling. But seeing how many people cared about me was humbling too. Thank God for my family and friends.”
And he is grateful for the Ben Taub staff. “Everyone there, from the janitors to the doctors, were very friendly, very charismatic, very prompt, very professional. They are passionate about what they do.”
Jared was in Ben Taub for nine days. Released on New Year’s Day, he got busy planning for 2014 and a new life.
“God doesn’t put more on us than we can bear,” he says. “Life doesn’t stop for an injury. I’m very ambitious. I want to make my parents proud and take my life to the next step.”
A voracious reader, Jared enrolled in college and plans to get a degree in mechanical engineering. In addition to studying, he spends a lot of time with his family and is eager to get back on the golf course.
Studying options for a prosthetic limb has sparked his interest in the mechanical features of the devices. “I keep thinking there may be a career in this for me. It fuels my interest.”
Jared exudes a can-do attitude that leaves no doubt that he will excel at golf or any career he chooses. “There is no such thing as ‘I can’t.’ I don’t believe in ‘can’t.’ I believe in people. Your family and your friends are your team. With the right circle of people, you can do anything you want.”