Happy holidays — and good fortune in the new year — from Broadway’s luckiest noodle shop employee

IMG_6691 (1)Let us celebrate the holidays and the end of another year on Capitol Hill with the story of Rachel Althouse.

The cynical may ask what there is to celebrate about a four or five-inch steel spike impaling your arm. CHS prefers the lessons of luck — and a positive attitude.

“I’m really glad that the reaction to the whole thing was so interesting,” Althouse told CHS as we caught up with her earlier this month. ”It wasn’t a life threatening accident but people have been so nice and caring.”

In early November, CHS reported on Althouse’s run-in with a noodle machine at Broadway’s Samurai Noodle. A swarm of Seattle Fire emergency crews circled the small restaurant working to extract the noodle shop employee’s arm from the machine as a crowd gathered on the Broadway sidewalk.

“I was so in shock, there wasn’t any other processing in my brain,” Althouse said. “I just couldn’t believe it was happening.”

The Seattle native who returned to the city in May from college in Minnesota with a bachelor’s in Asian studies was stuck in a noodle machine.

To free Althouse so she could be rushed to the hospital, the Seattle Fire team cut through the four-inch spike that had impaled her arm. It traveled with her to the hospital where surgeons worked to remove it. As incredulous as Althouse had been about her predicament, doctors must have been equally shocked.

“The spike itself is four to five inches long,” Althouse said, describing the aftermath. “It was almost entirely embedded but had passed between my radius and ulna at an angle. It hit muscles — but didn’t go all the way through.”

As unlucky as she had been to get stuck, Althouse was doubly fortunate not to be more seriously injured.

“The first thing they did was look at the x-ray — it didn’t hit bone,” she said. A month and a half later, Althouse suffers no permanent damage — only a righteous scar.

She returned to work a few weeks back. The noodle machine still has its place in the front window following a repair and a few modifications.

“There is a little more respect for the noodle machine now,” Althouse said. She says she’ll eventually operate it again. She expects some helpful, teasing advice from her fellow employees. “Don’t stick your arm in the mixer,” she laughs.

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