The man, in his 50s, lost three fingers and had a fourth severed by the line of his kite when it got caught in strong winds. He was flying a large kite in the Chinese city of Nantong when the gruesome incident happened. Chinese medics were able to re-attach the removed fingers in surgery lasting 16 hours.
His friend, also in his 50s, suffered substantial injuries to his hand and palm as the pair tried to reel in the kite as they spotted an oncoming storm, Jiangsu TV reports.
One of the men, who were not named, said: “We started packing our kites away when the weather turned.
“We got about halfway when the gust of wind came.
“I couldn’t get rid of the bundle of line around my fingers.
“They were ripped right off.”
He said the line, which was 2mm thick, felt like a sharp knife because the wind was so strong.
An x-ray shows three of his fingers were removed entirely from his hand.
The pair were treated at Nantong Zhongshan Orthopaedic Hospital in East China’s Jiangsu Province and both underwent surgeries lasting 16 hours.
One man had his three fingers reattached and the other had his palm stitched back together.
Doctor Jin Degas said: “When the patient arrived, all four of his fingers were severed.
“Although his third finger was not cut of, it was the bones that were connected, while all the blood, nerves and muscle tendon were severed.”
The man remains in recovery and is expected to regain at least partial function of his fingers.