Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul hasn’t tried to hide the fact his right hand was mangled in a fireworks accident.
But after talking openly about the details of the explosion that required claimed his right index finger (along with what could have been a massive contract), Pierre-Paul said he’s grateful to be alive.
“When I look in the mirror, I’m happy,” the Giants defensive end told Jason Buckland of Sports Illustrated. “Thank the Lord—it could have been worse.”
If you click on the link, you’ll have the opportunity to view photos of the aftermath of the explosion. If you have just eaten lunch and have a sensitive stomach, it might not be the best idea.
But unlike his medical records published by ESPN’s Adam Schefter (which led to a lawsuit), the photographs were shared freely by Pierre-Paul himself, who relived the July 4th accident in incredible detail.
For example, the numerous skin grafts required to repair the damage to his right hand completely relocated a tattoo which was once on his forearm. It now surrounds his middle finger. Yeah, the pictures are fairly gross, and will make you re-think your lunch choices if you take a look at them. But Pierre-Paul’s description might do that for you anyway.
“I’m looking at my [right] hand and I’m seeing every ligament,” he said. “You only see this stuff in the movies.”
The story details his hospital stay, including details of the way he tried to keep things private — including checking in under the name Don X.
He understands what he lost, but remains grateful the damage wasn’t worse, and didn’t cost him his entire hand or worse.
“I have no regrets at all [about the accident],” he said. “I carry myself differently. I look at things differently. I try not to put myself in horrible situations anymore. I have a lot of people depending on me—even people I didn’t know depended on me.”
His comeback this year will be watched carefully after he signed a one-year prove-it deal with the Giants, as they and he try to see if he can become the kind of feared pass-rusher he was before the night that changed his life.