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Sen. Kevin Cramer badly injures hand in yardwork accident

Sen. Kevin Cramer of North Dakota said there remains a high risk of infection and a chance the tip of his pinkie finger will need to be amputated.

Kevin Cramer
U.S. Sen. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D.
Submitted photo
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BISMARCK — Sen. Kevin Cramer announced on Wednesday, June 22, he suffered a serious injury to his right hand over the weekend while doing yardwork.

Cramer, R-N.D., told Forum News Service the injury came after a large rock rolled onto the pinkie and ring finger of his right hand when he was trying to move it.

The senator said there is a rocky beach area attached to his house in Bismarck where he was about to go swimming with his grandkids. Cramer said he decided to move one large rock because it looked unstable.

When the rock rolled back onto his hand, Cramer said it ripped off the tip of his pinkie finger and crushed his ring finger.

"Right when I looked at it I knew it was severe," Cramer said. "It was pretty nasty."

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After wrapping the hand in a bandage, Cramer and his wife rushed to Sanford hospital's emergency room where a surgeon stitched the tip of the pinkie finger back onto Cramer's hand. The senator said the hospital staff took great care of him.

Cramer said he left the hospital with some antibiotics and he has only taken over-the-counter pain relievers. There remains a high risk of infection and a chance the tip of his pinkie finger will need to be amputated, Cramer said.

The senator said he's thankful the accident didn't cause more damage, adding that "the worst-case scenario isn’t that bad."

With the rest of his hand uninjured, Cramer joked that "Angry Birds is still a possibility."

Cramer said he will remain in Bismarck to recover until after the Fourth of July holiday. When he returns to Washington, Cramer said he'll be giving a lot of left-handed fist bumps.

The senator, who is right-handed, said the injury could affect his typing ability, but he doesn't expect it to be a major hindrance in his work.

Cramer will miss this week's action in the Senate, including a likely vote on a bipartisan bill that aims to keep guns away from dangerous people.

The Republican said he wouldn't have supported the bill because it allows states to access federal funds to implement "red flag" laws, which give officials authority to temporarily take guns away from people deemed to be dangerous. However, Cramer noted the proposal will probably pass.

Jeremy Turley is a Bismarck-based reporter for Forum News Service, which provides news coverage to publications owned by Forum Communications Company.
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