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Boston barber injured in ‘very freak accident’ at shop; falls and accidentally stabs himself with pair of shears

Steve Silva cutting a client's hair. A GoFundMe fundraising page has been launched for Silva, who was seriously injured when he stabbed himself with a pair of shears on Feb. 12.
Steve Silva cutting a client's hair. A GoFundMe fundraising page has been launched for Silva, who was seriously injured when he stabbed himself with a pair of shears on Feb. 12.Boston Barber Co. Beacon Hill

Steve Silva was cutting a customer’s hair Friday when the unthinkable happened. He lost his footing and fell forward, landing heavily on his scissors.

“He had a comb and spray bottle in one hand and shears in the other,” said Robert Dello Russo, the owner of Boston Barber Co., the Beacon Hill shop where Silva works. “He turned and fell forward, and when he did, he fell with all his weight on his shears. As he popped back up on his knees, he said ‘Oh my God, I stabbed myself.’”

As blood pooled on the shop floor, Silva’s co-worker Sarah Santiago cut his shirt open and applied pressure to his wound while they waited for an ambulance.

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“Thank God we’re close to Mass General,” Dello Russo said. “An inch to the left or right would have pierced his heart, and he would have died on the spot.”

Silva, 29, pulled the shears out of his chest and was bleeding heavily, Dello Russo said. He underwent open heart surgery and is expected to remain in the hospital for at least two more weeks.

“He was in intensive care for the last couple of days,” Dello Russo said. “They had to crack his chest open.”

Dello Russo said he was at his other barber shop in the North End when the accident happened. He showed video of the incident to police.

“It’s such a freak story; it’s almost not even believable,” Dello Russo said.

Silva, who lives in Wilmington, has worked at Boston Barber Co. for four years and has been a devoted employee, Dello Russo said.

“He’s just a sweetheart of a kid,” he said. “He works six days a week. He never takes a day off.”

Dello Russo said business at the barber shop has been slow during the pandemic and Silva had just returned to work after being laid off for the third time.

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“This was his first week back for the third time, and now this happens,” he said.

Dello Russo said the timing of the accident couldn’t have been worse. Silva had planned a hotel getaway with his girlfriend to celebrate Valentine’s Day and her birthday.

“He made a joke about it, and said, ‘What a waste of money,’ ” Dello Russo said. “He’s going to be out of work for a while now. But he’s taken it in stride. He’s been a great sport about it.”

A fundraising campaign was created on GoFundMe.com (gofundme.com/f/stephen-silva) to help Silva afford his medical bills and time away from work.

“He has a very long, excruciating road to recovery,” the page states. “He is our brother, our friend, favorite barber and loyal employee. He works hard and he is always there for those he loves. We are asking for some help for not only the medical bills but the potential months he will be out of work. From the bottom of our heart, we appreciate anything you can do.”

As of Tuesday afternoon, $9,316 had been raised.

“He’s hanging in there,” Dello Russo said. “He’s overwhelmed by all the people coming out to support him.”

Viewer warning: graphic content

Barber falls and accidentally stabs himself
Barber Steve Silva fell and accidentally stabbed himself at the Boston Barber Co. on Feb. 12. (Video courtesy of Boston Barber Co. Beacon Hill)

Emily Sweeney can be reached at emily.sweeney@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @emilysweeney.