Ramazan Taşdemir did not think twice about the risk of electrocution when he climbed a high-voltage pylon. The 16-year-old shepherd from the eastern town of Diyadin was trying to save a pigeon whose wings were stuck in the pylon. Fifteen days after he managed to free the bird, he is in a hospital bed after both of his hands were amputated as a result of being electrocuted on his climb down. "He doesn't have his own wings now," his mother Fatma lamented.
The teenager was herding his family's livestock when he noticed the bird on the pylon in a pasture near his village. "I freed it and tried climb down after it flew away. I touched the wire by mistake, and then I heard a blast. I don't remember the rest," he said from his hospital bed. Luckily, he was caught in the iron bars of the pylon and did not fall. Rescue crews brought him down, but it was too late to save his extremities when he arrived at the hospital with severe burns on both hands. The doctors had to amputate from his forearms down.
Taşdemir said he looks forward to living his life without hands and needs "nothing more" than two prosthetic arms. Doctors say it is still too early for prosthetics, and that the shepherd will undergo further treatment.
"It was his last day as a shepherd here. He was going to go to Istanbul. He tried to save the wings of a bird, and now he is without wings. I will forever be his arms and hands," his mother said.