Woman gifted new sewing machine after firefighters break her previous one to free her hand

Local News

TURLOCK, Calif. (KTXL) — A Turlock woman is on the mend and now has a new sewing machine thanks to Turlock firefighters. 

“As far as I was concerned, I said, we had a mini, what do you call it, jaws of life, performed in my kitchen here,” said Priscilla Damante. 

Damante is in good spirits after firefighters came to her rescue.

“Something happened and it went ‘plump, plump’ and I found out I could not move my hand,” Damante said. 

She says she was sewing together rice packs for Chemo Crew, an organization that helps support cancer patients in Stanislaus and San Joaquin counties. Her first reaction was to call her son, who lives down the street from her, for help. 

“He ran into the house, and he’s to the rescue. And he just said, ‘Mom, I can’t, I don’t know what to do without really hurting you.’ And he said, ‘This is a 911.’ And I said, ‘Oh no, we don’t do 911s.’” Damante said. “We did 911.”

Capt. Matthew Mason and other firefighters, along with paramedics showed up to help. 

“You know, we get entrapments all the time with, with vehicles and different machinery. This happened to be my first one ever with a sewing machine or ever hearing of one with a sewing machine,” Mason said. 

After trying to take the sewing machine apart piece by piece, firefighters realized the only way to free her was by destroying the sewing machine. 

“I felt terrible taking apart her machine because you know that it really meant a lot to her,” Mason said. 

He says Damante’s story tugged at their heartstrings and just days later the Turlock Random Acts of Kindness Committee brought her a replacement. 

“Handing that sewing machine to her was, was definitely a highlight of the day and, and, actually, part of my career,” Mason said. 

“I was amazing. I was just amazed,” Damante said. 

She says her new machine will be put to good use. 

“Grandchildren will hear the stories from now on about that sewing machine,” Damante said. 

Damante eventually finished sewing the rice packs for the Chemo Crew and says she plans to sew more next month. 

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