The mishap that hospitalized Jimmy Fallon and caused him to cancel the Tonight Show right before a two week hiatus was worse than was initially reported. Jimmy was back on the air Monday night, telling the story of how he almost lost his finger in an extremely freaky accident. The host spent 10 days in a hospital ICU.
Here’s Jimmy explaining what happened.
“I can’t tell you how excited I am to be back and seeing you guys here. What a crazy break we had, a two-week break. So basically what happened is I tripped and fell on a braided rug that my wife loved, and I can’t wait to burn it to the ground. I tripped and fell and I caught my fall. So I’m getting up and my finger’s sideways. So I go, ‘Oh, my God! Did I just break my finger? This is the lamest thing in the whole world.’ It completely looks fake, like in a cheap horror movie where you see a broken finger. It looks like that! That’s what it looks like. So I wrap my hand in a towel and I get in a cab and go to the emergency room. I go, ‘I broke my finger! I think I broke my finger!’ And they go, ‘Oh, you didn’t break your finger.'”
What happened to his finger is called a ring avulsion.
“It’s a thing called ring avulsion. A-V-U-L-S-I-O-N. If you Google it, it’s graphic images. Don’t Google it. But ring avulsion, it’s a real thing…My ring got caught on a countertop when I was going down and stuck there and pulled my finger out. Trust me, I’m like, ‘Wait, what?’ I didn’t even look at the thing. So I go, ‘Can you fix it?’ And they go, ‘Oh, no. No. We’ve got to send you somewhere else.'”
A specialist performed 6 hours of risky microsurgery. Often, it doesn’t work, and the finger has to be amputated. A vein had to be taken out of Jimmy’s foot to use in the finger. If there is even one minor mistake, the vein closes up and it’s “useless.”
The good news: The doctor, from Bellevue Hospital in NYC, saved Jimmy’s finger. It will take 8 weeks to get the feeling back, but a full recovery is expected.
Watch Jimmy describe his accident, and reflect on what it means, in the video below. He gets philosophical–shut up in a hospital room, he pondered the meaning of life and made some conclusions.
“…if anyone’s suffering at all, this is my job. I’m here to make you laugh. I want to make you have a good time. Get out of that hospital! Get out! I’m telling you, you’re going to be fine. Listen to your nurses! They will get you out!”
That sounds like one hell of a vacation.