"I had to get a custom waiver to get it released," Fernandes said. "If you can picture this, I'm just in this hospital, I don't even have a prosthetic leg at this point, I'm just hopping around, I'm stuck in bed and I'm sending 100 emails and dozens of phone calls all over the place."
Lovatt also had to prove to the hospital that PNHC was equipped for the job.
"We presented evidence that we could handle this in a safe manner and in effectively a clean room and in terms of the ethics board issues they had, we showed them the work we've done in the past...and showed them that our intent was to provide a clean, beautiful piece to help him kind of reconnect and heal from his trauma, as opposed to kind of make a freak show out of it," Lovatt said.
Once given the go-ahead, Fernandes had to find a funeral home to pick up and handle his leg to transport to PNHC, which he said was a "challenge," especially in a pandemic.
But eventually it all came together, months after the accident. "They pick it up, it's boxed, it's wrapped up, it's got biohazard stickers all over -- it looks crazy," Fernandes said.
PNHC staff brought Fernandes' leg into their cleaning facility, removed all of the soft tissue and then used peroxide to stabilize and whiten the bones "to make sure the resulting finished product would actually be sterile and safe," Lovatt said. [...]
"I have to remind myself that, 'Hey, that's your leg, you walked on that,'" he said. "It's hard."
It was also the first time he was able to see the damage his leg suffered in the accident -- all of the shattered and fragmented pieces.
In July, Justin Fernandes was walking home from work when he was struck by a motorcycle. The impact severed his right leg.