Boston barber recalls ‘freak accident’ that nearly killed him

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A Boston barber who accidentally stabbed himself told The Post Wednesday that he feels lucky to have survived the “freak accident” by a hair.

Speaking from his bed at Massachusetts General Hospital, Steve Silva, 29 said the accident Friday at the Boston Barber Company in Beacon Hill “happened quick,” as he was working on a customer’s coif.

“When I went around the corner, I slipped and fell,” Silva, of Wilmington, told The Post in an exclusive interview. “Because my shears were around my finger, they were pointed inward and I broke my fall with my hands.”

Silva, who was gripping 6-and-half-inch professional-grade shears in his right hand, then immediately felt something “weird,” he said.

“I looked down and I saw blood like a geyser spewing out,” Silva recalled. “I looked at my client and I said, ‘I think I just stabbed myself.’”

Steve Silva barber
Silva had open-heart surgery less than an hour after the shears entered his chest cavity
Courtesy of Steve Silva

Two coworkers, Nikki and Sarah, as well as Silva’s customer, sprang into action and “went right to work” by applying pressure to the wound and putting him onto his side, Silva said.

“I was trying to stay calm and not freak them out,” he said.

Silva said he slipped on a wet spot on the floor as he stepped off a pad near his customer.

“I broke my fall with my hands and [the shears] are not going to fling off,” he said. “Any barber or hairstylist knows they’re wrapped around your finger pretty good.”

Silva was not distracted by the mask he was wearing at the time, he noted.

“The thing sucks, you can’t deny that, but you wear it so much it doesn’t affect your vision,” he said. “It was just a freak accident, it really was.”

Silva had open-heart surgery less than an hour after the shears entered his chest cavity, narrowly missing his heart. Photos obtained Wednesday by The Post show that doctors used staples to close his several inch-long wound.

“I basically hit the main artery to the lower ventricle,” he said, adding that the Hanzo shears entered his chest between a rib and his sternum. “A bit to the left would’ve pierced my heart.”

Silva, who was released from an intensive care unit Tuesday, was listed in stable condition Wednesday, but will be laid-up for several weeks, he said.

“I honestly feel lucky, but I feel like a little bit of a klutz that this happened,” Silva said. “I’d love to go back to work, but I don’t think I have a date as of yet.”

Silva has cut hair at the shop for the last four years and returned to work last week after being twice laid-off due to lagging business from the coronavirus pandemic.

Steve Silva Boston Barber
Silva has been released from an intensive care unit.
Courtesy of Steve Silva

He also had to cancel a planned getaway with his girlfriend, Dawn DeRosa, to celebrate her birthday and Valentine’s Day, following Friday’s fateful fall.

But the devoted barber did manage to reach out to man whose hair he was cutting at the time to make sure the session was completed – which it was, Silva said.

“I couldn’t remember if I was done,” he said.

Silva said he wanted to thank his coworkers and the hundreds of people who donated to an online fundraiser to help offset his medical bills. As of early Wednesday, more than $19,000 had poured in.

“There’s some people out there that donated serious money and I have no clue who they are,” Silva said. “I’m getting emotional about it. Someone sent a $1,000. Who is this person? Why do they care?”

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