Hand Severed by Jump Rope Saved by First Aid Training

Red Cross urges people to learn first aid, save a severed hand

The past few months have not been easy for Erica Rix after a jump rope severed her hand.

But she was all smiles Monday as she and her mother encouraged people to get the critical first aid training that save her life.

In September, 6-year-old Erica was riding with her mother in the family car in Los Gatos, when the jump rope she was dangling from the window got tangled in a wheel of the car and yanked her hand off.

Jim Bailey pulled over to help.

"I pulled my belt off, made a slip knot, pulled it tight and the bleeding stopped," he said.

That swift action was applauded Monday in Los Gatos as both the town and the American Red Cross joined forces to urge more people to get the first aid training Bailey learned years ago.

"I believe Erica would have bled to death," said Allison Rix, the girl's mother. "It was artery blood and it was coming out at a rapid pace. He absolutely saved her life."

Erica still has a long road to recovery ahead.

She visits Lucile Packard Children's Hospital twice a week and must be put under anesthesia for treatments.

During the next 18 months she faces at least six surgeries, including tendon transfers and nerve graphs.

But through it all Erica focuses on the good things in life such as what she is going to be for Halloween.

"Supergirl," she said.

Erica hopes to return to school next month.

Los Gatos is offering reduced cost first aid training to inspire more people to learn lifesaving skills.

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