Boston Barber Recovering From Open-Heart Surgerty After Freak Accident

Boston barber Steve Silva accidentally stabbed himself with his shears while cutting someone's hair.

Video Transcript

- Well, the barber from Boston who was seriously injured during a freak accident is sharing his story with CBSN Boston. The accident was caught on camera. This is 29-year-old Steve Silva. He fell while cutting a client's hair and landed on top of his scissors, piercing his chest. Silva was rushed to the hospital and underwent emergency open-heart surgery.

He is still in the hospital recovering. Doctors say he could be out as soon as next week, if everything looks good. But he spoke with our Beth Germano about the incident.

STEVE SILVA: I was spraying his hair, and I went around the corner. And remember that-- like, I don't know if my water bottle was in both hands, but then I slipped. So when I slipped, I kind of like put my hands out, and my sisters are in my right ring finger, so they were extended in.

That's when I put my hands out to catch my fall. They stabbed in my chest. I look down, and you can see me kind of, like, on my knees. And I just look in my shirt, and I seen a bunch of blood. Like I said, it was like a geyser of blood just squirting out. That's when I knew something was really wrong. I didn't feel it. And I don't know if I was in shock.

But Max-- I was like, hey, Max, oh my God, I think I stabbed myself. And he was like, oh, hold on. Like, stay calm. And my co-worker Sarah, who anyone at the shop knows, you know, if they get a haircut with me and her, it's like a-- it's like a comedy show with me and her. We're really tight. And she went right to work.

Like I said, she got paper towels. Max got the regular towels. And they were switching them back and forth.

BETH GERMANO: How aware were you about what was happening at that point?

STEVE SILVA: I was-- that's the thing. So, at first, I was like, OK, I'm-- I don't feel any pain. So I was like, oh. Like, you know-- I'll just put some styptic powder on it, and I'll be fine. And styptic is a barber thing, for if you, like-- if you get a little neck with a razor or something, stops the bleeding real quick.

And then obviously I seen everyone's faces and, I kind of felt my chest tightening a little bit. I'm like, OK, I might've did a little more damage I thought.

BETH GERMANO: You had no idea how serious it was.

STEVE SILVA: No. No, I had no clue. I didn't even think I was gonna go in the EMT. I really didn't.

BETH GERMANO: How grateful are you--

STEVE SILVA: Like I said--

BETH GERMANO: How grateful you to your co-workers and customers that they came to help you as they did?

STEVE SILVA: Extremely, extremely grateful. You know, Sarah just did an amazing job. I'm not really an emotional person, but I got pretty emotional about it. Like, that was quick. They did exactly what was needed to be done.

A little bit to the right I would have hit my sternum, and I probably would've been-- I mean, I would have been fine. You know, maybe a little bruising or something. A little bit to the left, I would have punctured my heart. Because it went in between my sternum and the rib and then went up at an angle. So I hit my-- the main artery in my heart.

BETH GERMANO: Doctors tell you you're a lucky guy?

STEVE SILVA: Yeah. Yeah. They said I'm very lucky. Like I said, a half inch to the left lucky. Maybe even less.

He paused and just kind of make a joke of it, like, you gonna get some no-slip shoes, maybe? You know, but I just-- definitely be careful. I mean, I gave my family a huge scare. You know, they're very upset. And I love them very much, too, so-- I don't want to do that again.

BETH GERMANO: A GoFundMe page has been created by Steve's colleagues, who, thank goodness they were there. They want to help him not only pay his medical bills but also cover him for the missed time at work. So far, the page has raised over $20,000. We have all the information on how you can donate at CBSBoston.com.