That blissful ignorance came to a sharp and painful end on Sept. 20.
An avid bowler with his own alley inside the Montville, N.J., home he shares with wife Lisa Valastro and kids Sofia, 17, Buddy III, 16, Marco, 14, and Carlo, 10, Buddy was fixing a malfunctioning pinsetter when his right hand got lodged inside the machine.
“I’ve reset it a hundred times,” Buddy explained to People eight days after the incident. But this time, “I guess I looked away, and then my hand got pinned.” His dominant palm compressed inside the apparatus, he said he watched in horror as a one-and-a-half-inch metal barb “pushed right through the middle of my ring finger and my middle finger” several times.
As blood started gushing (“It looked like a Halloween movie”), he froze, realizing there was little he could do. “I thought I was going to faint,” he later admitted on Today. But after five minutes of pure shock, “something kicked in and told me to be calm,” he told People, “because at that point I knew I was stuck. I was stuck in the machine. This rod was through my hand and I knew that I had to get out of there.”