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Former Browns WR Mohamed Massaquoi opens up about hand amputation

Former Browns wide receiver Mohamed Massaquoi lost his left hand in a traumatic ATV accident but says he's "thankful" for so much that's happened in the weeks and months that have followed.

In a video for the Players Tribune released Monday, Massaquoi reveals he was involved in an ATV accident last April that changed his life forever. As Massaquoi describes it, he simply took too sharp of a turn and was sent tumbling.

"Before I knew it, my ATV loses control and the next thing I feel is something that feels like an explosion went off in my hand," Massaquoi said.

"You can see the panic and the fear in everybody so you know it's not good, but you can't really tell what's going on because there's nothing that will prepare you for what's to come."

Doctors initially tried to repair Massaquoi's hand but it was to no avail. Ultimately, after months of rehab and therapy, Massaquoi was left with his thumb and a prosthetic device that replaced the rest of his hand.

"I have a sense of touch, I have a sense of feel, I have a sense of pressure," Massaquoi said. "Knowing how valuable (the thumb) is, I'm thankful I still have it."

Massaquoi acknowledges how his sure hands were the backbone behind his success as a football player. After a decorated career at the University of Georgia, Massaquoi landed with the Browns in the second round of the 2009 NFL Draft. Over four seasons, Massaquoi caught 118 passes for 1,745 yards and seven touchdowns. His NFL career ended one year later with the Jets.

Massaquoi said his perspective on life has been changed for the better since the accident. It's helped him become a "better version" of himself.

"I went through denial, I went through just fear of what was going to come. This gives you a perspective of how precious life is, how fast things can change," Massaquoi said. "You go from joyriding to being in a helicopter to find out your hand's going to be amputated."

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