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Meir YedidThe Smithtown News

Surgeon's 'Magic' Saves Two Fingers
And Magician's Career Is Rescued After Car Crash
By Fran Evans

Meir Yedid was looking on the bright side of things while lying in his hospital bed Tuesday at St. John’s Episcopal Hospital, Smithtown.

The sleight of hand artist, who had two fingers ripped from his right hand in a car accident August 16 and re-attached by micro-surgery, knows the outcome could have been worse.

"I’m lucky. If I didn’t have my seat belt on, I would have been dead," said Mr. Yedid.

Click to view a larger image of thisMr. Yedid was driving on the Long Island Expressway when a tire blew out and he lost control of his 1977 Ford Grenada. The car turned over four times coming to a halt against a guard rail. A passenger in the car was unhurt.

"By the time the car stopped turning over there were people all over the place ready to help," recalled Mr. Yedid. "My pinky and ring finger were torn off and were laying about 100 yards away. Somebody found them and put them in an ice cooler. There were a couple of doctors there and before I knew it a chopper landed on the expressway and whisked me off to the hospital. It’s looking pretty good," he added.

"The little finger was badly crushed and his fingers were not cleanly amputated. These are not the most ideal circumstances for reimplantation. Fortunately we were able to hook up the arteries and veins and get the circulation going. At first there were problems with the little finger but it’s doing better and we’re very pleased with the ring finger. He’s looking good at this point," said Dr. Mirza.

The patient, a native Israeli who came to America 16 years ago and now lives in Rego Park, has been practicing magic tricks since he was a young boy. He now earns a living performing his act at night clubs in Manhattan and private parties on Long Island. He recently appeared on "Comedy Tonight," a television show and has also written eight books on. magic.

His specialty is using his fingers for sleight of hand tricks. "It’s practically my whole career, said Mr. Yedid, whose room is plastered with get well wishes from fellow magicians including Kreskin and the Amazing Randi. The telephone has been ringing off the hook too. Among the callers wishing him a speedy recovery was famed magician Doug Henning.

"On a recent video I did for the music group ‘The Ramones’ they used my hand in a handshake sequence and as part of scene I make two of my fingers vanish. Ironically it happens to be the same two fingers. It’s kind of spooky," added the 26-year old magician.

Mr. Yedid returned to the operating room for a skin grafting procedure Tuesday afternoon in an attempt to repair the area of his fingers where the skin was torn. He will be spending the next week to 10 days at St. John’s recovering and is anxious to get back to work.

"I intend to work hard on the recovery. I didn’t work on my art my whole life to have something like this stop me now," Mr. Yedid said.

Copyright 1986 by The Smithtown News. All rights reserved.

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