John Docherty slipped on ice, caught his wedding ring on a railing and had his finger ripped off.
But when the 67 grandfather, who was left with blood spurting from the wound, arrived at his local hospital in Ayr, Scotland, he was refused treatment and told to take a taxi to a hospital in Glasgow.
He had to share the cab with a doctor traveling to a different location.
The accident happened last week with Docherty was helping his wife, Sheena, carry shopping bags and he slipped on ice.
"I went straight up in the air and tried to grab the railing," Docherty said. "But my wedding ring got stuck and my finger was ripped clean off — blood was spurting out like oil from the ground."
Docherty was rushed to Ayr Hospital with his finger wrapped in a bag of frozen peas.
But hospital chiefs said they had no suitable surgeons and made him take a cab to Glasgow Royal Infirmary instead.
"I arrived at the Royal around 2 p.m., almost three hours after I fell," he said. "Eventually a surgeon said he could try reattaching it, but the chances of it healing were slim."
Britain's government-run health provider, National Health Services, is investigating the incident.