Warning: This article contains graphic images
A Florida woman had her fingertip severed from a library dump box while returning a book in July.
Barbara Haverly was returning a book to the WT Bland Public Library in Mount Dora on July 28 when the freak accident happened.
She was dropping off the book at around 12:30 p.m. when the box’s swinging metal door snapped back, pinching her finger.
“I was shocked,” Haverly said FOX 2 San Francisco. “It hit an artery and blood spurted everywhere.”
Haverly, a registered nurse, noticed that part of the middle finger on her left hand had fallen into the box.
She asked staff to retrieve the fingertip and place it in ice.
“I couldn’t slide the swinging door back in, so I told the staff to get my fingertip out and put it in ice,” Haverly explained, adding that a user rushed to the library restroom nearby to get paper towels .
The library was so busy that during the debacle, staff were still trying to help people check out books.
“Library staff might have been shocked too. The guests tried to borrow books and they helped them,” recalls Haverly. “But I insisted they retrieve the finger and put it in cold ice water.”
Although Haverly took the fingertip with him to the hospital, the surgeons were unable to reattach it to her finger due to multiple severed nerve endings.
The skin is expected to grow back, but the nail is unlikely to grow back.
“Instead, I had to have another finger taken because it was cut off at an angle,” the victim said. “My surgeon said he had to cut across to allow the skin to grow back.”
Haverly’s husband, Paul, went back into the library and saw that the mailbox had an “Out of Service” sign on it.
Haverly’s lawyer told KTVU that the case falls under the rule of law of sovereign immunity and others may have been injured in the past.
Haverly, who often takes her granddaughter to the same library, said the accident changed her daily life.
She is no longer able to pick up her grandchildren or participate in activities like yoga and golf.
“I didn’t take any chances, I just returned a book to the library,” Haverly recalls. “And now I’m permanently disfigured.”
Fox News Digital has reached out to the Lake County Library System for comment, but has received no response.