DIY dad James Byrne has thumb replaced with toe after accident
WOULD you lose a toe to replace a thumb?
That’s exactly what a DIY dad has done after sawing off his thumb in an accident.
James Byrne, 29, from Bristol in England, underwent a complex eight-hour operation to attach the toe after losing his thumb cutting up wood.
One group of surgeons at Bristol's Frenchay Hospital worked to amputate his toe while another concentrated on his hand at the same time.
Doctors had battled to save the thumb, but despite months of treatment - including using leeches - the blood would not start flowing again.
Mr Byrne - who has nicknamed his new digit Toby – said having a thumb was vital in his job as a paver and plant operator and for being a father to eight-year-old son Connor.
"I never thought it would work but the surgical teams and nurses have done such a fantastic job. I am so, so pleased that I had it done,” he told The Sun.
"I can't bend it yet but I hope to be able to do so soon. It rotates and I can give it a good wiggle."
Mr Byrne said he would have to learn to re-balance on to the ball of his foot without his left big toe but eventually would be able to walk and jog normally.
Dr Umraz Khan, who led the operation, said: "The thumb is the dominant digit. Without it, James would not be able to do the things that we take for granted, like holding a pen or opening a door.
"It is still early days for him and he might need additional surgery to make it look more like a thumb."
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