When a cane knife wielded by Kevin Dugas ricocheted off a tree branch and nearly severed the forefinger on his left hand, the drummer saw his 20-plus year career with Steve Riley & the Mamou Playboys flash before his eyes.
“My world passed right in front of me when I cut it,” Dugas recalls. “I said, ‘Oh, man. I just messed up.’ Then I realized I had to call Steve and tell him I couldn’t play.”
That was late October.
However, 71 days later, Dugas was back on the cans and driving the bus for the Mamou Playboys.
“Everything went well,” Dugas says of the gig. “My hand swelled up a bit. But overall, it was good. It still hurts a bit.”
Understandably, the veteran drummer was a tad nervous picking up the drumsticks for the first time following the accident, surgery and ongoing rehab.
“I was scared,” laughs Dugas. “Just trying to remember the songs, along with not dropping the stick.”
When Dugas was out on injured reserve, the band continued to perform with Jamey Bearb on drums.
“We talked about some things,” Dugas says. “He knew what he had to do — he did a damn good job — that guy is a great talent.”
But back to the day Dugas will not soon forget.
“It was Oct. 27,” Dugas says dryly. “A Thursday. A Thursday morning.”
Dugas was helping a cousin trim branches along a tree line on his Lafayette property when it happened.
“My hand was wrapped around the branch,” he says. “I was holding the branch out and it cut right above the knuckle on my pointer finger.”
While a self-inflicted wound, Dugas had some assistance from the tree.
“I hit the branch on the side of me, and the cane knife, it ricocheted,” says Dugas. “It cut through the bone and all the tendons and stuff.”
At the same time, “It nicked my butter finger,” he says. “It didn’t cut any tendons. All of my other fingers are good.”
Dugas went to his doctor who stitched him up and sent him to New Orleans. Contrary to rumors, Dugas was not turned away at the hospital because of a lack of insurance.
“Their hand surgeon only worked on Fridays,” Dugas says. “So they gave me medicine and set me up with an appointment the next week.”
“My world passed right in front of me
In November, Lagniappe Productions, based out of Rhode Island, put together a “Friends of Kevin Dugas Krewe” to help raise money for Dugas and his family.
“Chuck (Wentworth) and them in Rhode Island, they really helped me out a lot,” says Dugas, adding that local residents and businesses have also chipped in to help with the bills. “They got me through Christmas.”
In early January, Dugas’ doctor figured he has about a month more of physical therapy (at three times a week) with Casey Arceneaux, a physical therapist at Lafayette’s P.T. South.
“That’s not a problem,” he says. “I can live with that.”
On the mend, Dugas says although he has to ice down his hand after playing, and there is dead skin on the knuckle at the point of impact, he does have feeling in the injured finger and his future as a drummer looks good.
“It might not be 100 percent,” he says, “but it will be pretty darn close.”
Donations will be accepted through the New England state’s Mardi Gras ball on the Pawtuxet on Feb. 18. Checks, with Friends of Kevin Dugas on the memo line, can be sent to Lagniappe Productions, 51 White Oak Court, Wakefield, RI, 02879; or online at www.mardigrasri.com/2011/11/fundraiser-to-support-kevin-dugas/ and click on Dugas’ name.
A federal jury found attorney Daniel Stanford guilty Friday afternoon on eight of 13 counts for his role in the Curious Goods conspiracy.
Lafayette City-Court Judge Francie Bouillion has served on the bench for two decades since winning a special election to replace Judge Kaliste Saloom when he retired in 1994.
The Houston firm said Friday in its weekly report that 1,575 rigs were exploring for oil and 338 for gas. One was listed as miscellaneous. A year ago there were 1,776 active rigs.
A crew began erecting the 25-foot mini-wheel late morning Friday in anticipation of the evening’s Hottest Night of the Year party at the park.
Frances Boothe of Nunez, who also happens to be filmmaker Stephen Meaux’s grandmother, prepares a cool-weather fave.
The magazine's senior football writer also predicts a break-out year for Saints fourth-year running back Mark Ingram.
New Iberia colonial or Broussard traditional home
The LPSB is poised and ready to move forward with the termination of Pat Cooper following a discussion Thursday with the attorney hired for the investigation of the superintendent, but a decision of this magnitude should be left up to the new board seated in January, especially with three pro-investigation board members bailing out come the new year.
Fiery style for game day
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
Gulf Coast ceremonies marking the ninth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina have begun.
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries says there is little known about the effects of tiger prawns on indigenous Louisiana shrimp. But, officials say the reports they're seeking will help state biologists monitor the distribution of the prawns and determine the possible presence of spawning populations.
Baltimore Ravens coach John Harbaugh rested his regulars and watched with delight as Ray Rice's backups ground out 214 yards rushing in a 22-13 victory over the New Orleans Saints on Thursday night.
Friday's Blogs from the Bog!
Google vs. Amazon in drone race; more deaths in Syria; Russia escalates Ukraine conflict and more national and international news for Friday, August 29, 2014.
High-profile criminal defense attorney Daniel Stanford awaits his fate in the Curious Goods conspiracy trial.
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is set to put the kibosh on the legal ownership of monkeys trained to help the disabled, and the agency wants to know what you think.
A federal judge on Thursday asked lawyers battling over Louisiana's new, restrictive abortion law for an agreement that apparently could let clinics stay open — at least for a while — after the law takes effect Sept. 1.
Three bedroom Port Barre cottage or three bedroom historic district Opelousas home
No laboring for shoppers this holiday
It will be next month before Gov. Bobby Jindal will likely get a chance to change the membership of a South Louisiana flood board that is suing dozens of oil, gas and pipeline companies.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
An abortion rights organization wants a federal judge to block enforcement of Louisiana's new abortion law while its lawsuit to overturn the law makes its way through court.
Republican presidential prospects Ted Cruz and Bobby Jindal are planning to speak at an Iowa Christian conservative event in September.
The attention surrounding Victor White III has spiked with the release of last week’s autopsy report, which has raised a number of serious questions about the night of his death and has put the Iberia Parish Sheriff’s Office under an increased wave of scrutiny as more national media outlets are jumping on the story, most recently seen on MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show.
The Acadiana Center for the Arts and the Lafayette Economic Development Authority have announced a new artist stipend program, ArtSpark, designed to offer financial aid to local artists.
A group supporting taxpayer-funded private school tuition vouchers is appealing a federal judge's order that Louisiana must provide regular reports to federal officials on the state's voucher program.
The Discovery Channel has canceled reality TV star Will Hayden's popular "Sons of Guns" show after his arrest on an aggravated rape charge.
The LPSB will finally hear from the attorney it hired to investigate the superintendent at a special meeting Thursday at 4 p.m.
Three bedroom traditional or two bedroom Victorian cottage