There are four times a year that Lexington's television stations have their viewership measured. When the February period began last week, it was a mortal lock, as always, that every top anchor would be on set to attract viewers.
So when veteran anchor Sam Dick was absent from CBS affiliate WKYT (Channel 27), it got some attention. WKYT went public with the reason behind the absence, revealing that in a bizarre accident, its top anchor got a 3- to 4-inch shard of wood stuck in his foot.
The accident happened Jan. 30 at his home, and two days later, Dick was in surgery to have the supersize splinter removed. It was so big that it wouldn't fit in the surgeon's typical "foreign object" dish.
The culprit: pine floors in his and his wife's 100-plus-year-old home.
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"We have very thick pine tongue-and-groove floors. We had them refinished, but there are spots in it where splinters and pieces of wood come up," he said. "All I know is I rushed through a hallway and the next thing I know, I felt this shooting pain like a knife had been stuck up through my foot."
After sitting down, "my first impulse was to pull it out, but it didn't come," Dick said. "The third time, I got some of it out."
But he couldn't remove it all. A trip to the doctor led to a visit to a podiatrist and a Wednesday-morning surgery that reportedly left the hospital employees gasping at the size of the shard.
"I was on crutches for two days and have been in a boot ever since," said Dick, who returned to work Monday after being off all but Tuesday last week.
Dick, a triathlete who trains six days a week, said, "This was the last thing I needed to have happen."
Oddly enough, the most pain came not from the accident but from a follow-up doctor's appointment Friday.
"She had to pull some padding out of the wound," he said. "She said it was going to hurt, but it was like 50 bee stings."
He has another follow-up appointment scheduled for Friday.
"Right now, my foot feels fantastic," he said. "I'm just praying that on Friday, I can take the boot off."
Dick thanked his viewers for the outpouring of support and said there will be some changes at his house.
"I have a grandson who runs around the house in socks when he comes over, and that will never happen again," he said. "I'm just thankful it didn't happen to him."