TRENT Burton’s battered hands tell of his amazing survival story.
The Shoalhaven Zoo handler has undergone microsurgery to repair his damaged hands.
He had plates and screws inserted in his broken left index finger, while a damaged artery in another finger was repaired.
“I’ve got bruising to the nerves and damage to the tendon but it is not severe and the wounds have been cleaned and closed up,” he said.
“My left hand has a 10 centimetre diagonal laceration across the palm and some puncture wounds but he didn’t go right through my hand.”
Mr Burton has six stitches across the middle knuckle of his right hand, from where he tried to prise John’s jaws open to free his trapped left hand.
“I’m recovering pretty well, given the alternative,” he said.
“I still have all my fingers and it seems I should be able to regain almost 100 per cent function in my hand.
“As I have broken bone and metal in there as well as an open wound there is a big chance of infection,” he said.
“Crocs aren’t like other closed mouth animals like goannas or dogs that have a lot of saliva and therefore bacteria. They have some bacteria but it is not as bad.
“A croc’s teeth are ideal to grip and hold onto things, they are designed that way. His teeth are huge but it is the jaw pressure that does all the damage. The teeth tear more than cut. They are not like shark’s teeth that are bladed and designed to slice.
“It’s like having something the size of your thumb, slightly sharpened and trying to push that through your hand.”