DJ Belzile sits with his two daughter, McKinley and Kathryn at his home with a photo of his oldest daughter Jocelyn.
Family and friends of DJ Belzile will be holding a benefit fundraiser to help after an accident that took away his ability to work.
On Oct. 22, Belzile went out to cut down a dead tree, something he said he had done countless times before in his more than 20 years of being a logger.
"I thought I had done everything right, looking back I did everything I had done hundreds of times before, but then you have to think this is just about the second most dangerous job in the world," Belzile said.
As the tree he was cutting down was almost completely cut through, it split and fell back toward him. Belzile was able to get his body out of the way but the tree crushed his left hand into another tree as it came down.
Friends rushed Belzile to the Smith House where Ron Jackson sent him to Fletcher Allen Health Care in Burlington, Vt. where a hand specialist was waiting to see him.
"Within the hour I was being treated by the special care unit, they knew exactly what to do," Belzile said.
In the accident, Belzile lost three fingers, including his thumb, and the skin of his hand was literally pulled off when he pulled his hand from under the tree.
After four surgeries and with three more planned, Belzile said the experience has been humbling.
"You never think this sort of thing is ever going to happen to you, but then you think there are some people who don't come home from something like this and I did," he said.
Belzile, who is left handed, dramatically hurt that hand. The self-employed logger said he is going to have to relearn everything right handed and that sitting home is not ideal for him.
"I want to work and get back out there and the doctors say it could happen as early as next spring, but theres some work I'll have to do to get there," he said.
Belzile is currently having surgeries to remove the dead skin from him hand and using a machine to stimulate skin growth. Once the hand is healed the doctors are hoping to repair the nerve damage to allow his hand to work as a "helping hand."
"I'm going to have to be right handed but I think I'll be able to do it," he said.
Through it all, Belzile and his wife Tina said they couldn't have done it without the overwhelming help from the community.
"I didn't realize so many people cared until this happened and I want to thank everyone," he said.
Wendy Sayward, a close friend of the Belzile family, said she wants to arrange the event to help with medical costs and costs of living while DJ undergoes medical treatment.
“Felt someone needed to do something to help and we want to get the whole community involved,” Sayward said.
The event will be held at Johnny's Family Smokehouse and Restaurant in Willsboro on Sunday, Nov. 25 from 2 to 5 p.m.
There will be a $10 cover charge for this event. Pizza and wings will be provided, along with music generously donated by Mr. G's Music Machine.
Sayward said she is in the process of talking to local business owners about donating items for the event’s silent auction. There will also be a 50/50 raffle.
If anyone would like to help or would like to make a donation for DJ or the silent auction contact Sayward at 572-1144.
Donations can be made to: DJ Belzile Benefit Fund, c/o Rhonda Belzile, 45 Maple Street, Willsboro, N.Y. 12996.