Buddy Valastro Is Thankful for 'All the Extra Family Time' on First Thanksgiving After Hand Injury
"I'm thankful for all the extra family time I've had with my wife and kids," Valastro tells PEOPLE of his wife, Lisa, and their kids, Sofia, 17, Buddy Jr., 16, Marco, 13, and Carlo, 9.
On Sept. 20, as Valastro was fixing the pinsetter in his home bowling alley, his right hand became lodged in the machine and a metal rod impaled his hand multiple times between his ring finger and middle finger. He's undergone three surgeries so far and has been struggling with numbness and limited motion in two of his fingers as recovers at home in Montville, N.J.
The pastry chef — who is currently starring in the Food Network series Buddy vs. Christmas — is celebrating turkey day with a "more intimate dinner this year vs our traditional extended family get together," he says. "This is thankfully a busy time for the bakery so Lisa handles the cooking and I bring home the desserts."
Valastro spoke to PEOPLE earlier this month about his recovery and how instrumental Lisa has been in getting him through it all.
"My wife has been amazing. She's been a trooper," he says. "We're going on 20 years now, and I think that we kind of checked all the boxes. But after you have an injury like this, and your wife helps you dry you out of the shower, that crosses another level."
"You get to really know each other, and love each other and be there for one another,” he continues.
Fans will get a more in-depth look at his life post-accident in the upcoming two-hour TLC special, Buddy Valastro: Road to Recovery, premiering Dec. 23.
"When we did Cake Boss many years ago, it was my home and my family, but it was really more about my bakery, where I feel like this has my bakery, but it also has my home, my work, and my wife and kids," he says. "It's a different glimpse of who we are. And the thing is you look at where my kids were on Cake Boss, they were babies. And now my daughter's driving. It's crazy."
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