Father-of-one chops off his own injured HAND with a guillotine after doctors refused to amputate it

Mark Goddard after his DIY amputation
Mark Goddard after his DIY amputation

A man tried to end years of pain from an old road accident by chopping off his own hand – with a homemade GUILLOTINE.

Desperate Mark Goddard, 44, says he performed the gruesome DIY operation when  doctors refused to amputate the limb.

The married dad-of-one knocked up his spring-loaded contraption using two planks of wood, elastic chords and an axe.

He spent two weeks assembling and testing it out in his back garden he placed his left wrist under the blade – and chopped it clean off – but ironically, still suffers the phantom pain.

His horrified wife Samantha came home ten minutes later and found her husband had tossed the severed limb onto a fire in the garden.

She dialled 999 police but by the time paramedics and officers arrived the hand had been too badly burnt to be saved.

Despite the extreme act Mr Goddard says he is still suffering from pain and is now threatening to cut off more of his arm unless doctors help him remove it surgically.

He says medics refused to amputate his arm because his hand and wrist were healthy – so now they have no excuse not to operate.

Mr Goddard, from Newton Abbot, Devon, says his pain began 16 years ago because of a motorbike accident but medics have never taken his plight seriously.

He said: “I should not have to go to such extremes to get my pain stopped.

“There was an alternative and that was having it done properly in hospital. But no one would do anything to help me – so I did it myself.

“I got rid of it because they told me they had problems amputating my arm with a good hand on it.

“So It took it off myself and now there is no reason why the can’t operate.”

Mr Goddard previously tried to use a knife to remove his hand but only managed to severe three tendons and a nerve.

This time he took no chances, spending two weeks designing his guillotine and calculating the force needed to cut right through the limb.

The guillotine Mark made in his back garden to perform the procedure
The guillotine Mark made in his back garden to perform the procedure

He tied two tourniquets above his forearm to reduce the blood flow and had a first aid kit nearby if anything went wrong.

After ensuring his wife and son were out of the house, he chopped off his limb and made sure it couldn’t be reattached by tossing into a fire he lit in a bin in his garden.

It had been burning for 30 minutes before police arrived and kicked over the bin and tried to retrieve it.

Mr Goddard, who used to run his own garage, says he lost two pints of blood but paramedics were able to stabilise his condition.

The former biker hopes he’ll now get a more “reasonable hearing” from medics now they can see how determined he is.

He takes 40 painkillers a day but wants a device called a spinal stimulator implanted into his back to ease his pain.

Mr Goddard said: “There should never have been any need for me to do this.

“It would have spared so much distress all round but it was the only way. At least if I do have the treatment it will I need it will give me and my family our lives back.

“I’ve told them that if nothing is done, I will take the arm off above the elbow myself. I’ve given them until the end of December.”

Mr Goddard insist he has undergone three psychiatric evaluations and passed all three.

Police who attended the scene confirmed he was bleeding badly but was “otherwise rational” before he was taken away by an ambulance.

Devon and Cornwall Police said officers could do nothing to save the hand after being alerted to the self-mutilation at 1:40pm on March 17

A spokesman said: “Police received a call from the ambulance service to say a man had cut his hand off.

“We were concerned he might have a knife and be a risk to himself or others.

“Units attended and upon arrival a 44-year-old man had indeed cut his hand off. He was otherwise rational.

“The hand was badly burnt and was in a bin. Officers attempted to save the hand but it was badly damaged.”

South Western Ambulance Service said the casualty was treated for “hand and wrist injuries” before being taken to hospital.


  1. SWNS: the fuel that feeds tabloid newspapers.

    Something doesn’t quite add up about this story. I always ask myself “How did this series of events, these people’s lives, become a syndicated news report?”

    Follow the money.

  2. Walking with a stick, he clearly has the high likelihood of a pain disorder where a central processor disorder (in portions of the brain) is at least contributory. Chronic pain of any sort is much more complicated than many patients understand, and certainly many physicians do not take adequate time to discuss this with their patients.

  3. He’s right, he should not have to go through such drastic measures to get help for his pain.. Hopefully now someone in the medical establishment will be willing to help.


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