You might know Buddy Valastro as the star of the long-running reality baking show Cake Boss, which follows Valastro and the trials and tribulations of family-owned Carlo’s Bakery in Hoboken, New Jersey. Last week, however, Valastro posted an Instagram photo of himself in a hospital bed with a bandaged arm; the photo caption alluded to a “terrible accident”…but no further information.
In a statement to People magazine, a representative for Valastro confirmed that the injury was the result of a freak bowling accident. If that sounds somewhat confusing, it helps to know that Valastro has a bowling alley within his own home. And just like an at-home pool, pinball machine, or pizza oven, when a home bowling alley malfunctions it’s easiest to do minor repairs yourself.
“There was a malfunction with the bowling pinsetter, a common fix in the past, but it turned into a terrible accident,” the rep told People. (Warning: the description that follows is somewhat graphic.) “After trying to release the bowling pin from the cage mechanism, his right hand became lodged and compressed inside the unit. Unable to remove his hand, he can see a 1-1/2″ metal rod slowly and repeatedly impale his hand three times between his ring finger and middle finger.”
Eventually Valastro’s sons were able to saw off the metal rod and free his hand from the machine. That’s no small feat for two boys aged 13 and 16; they can be commended for taking action in a crisis. People confirms that the Cake Boss star has undergone two surgeries to repair the damage to his right hand (his dominant one) and that he’s currently at home recovering. The injuries will require lots of time and therapy to recover from, but given the slightly lighthearted Instagram post (“What do you think of my new accessory?”) Valastro seems determined to tackle it with good humor. Lots of fellow food celebrities, from Duff Goldman to Emeril Lagasse, have posted messages of support. Let’s hope Valastro can pick up a piping bag again soon.