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Woman Born With No Fingers Had Toe Transplanted Onto Hand

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Woman Born With No Fingers Had Toe Transplanted Onto Hand

A woman had one of her toes transplanted onto her hand after she was born without fingers.

Olivia Chapman, from Plymouth, UK, was born without fingers on her right hand, and when she was two, she had a toe transferred to her hand in place of the absent digits.

Olivia was born without fingers on her right hand. Credit: Media Drum World
Olivia was born without fingers on her right hand. Credit: Media Drum World

The transplant enables the 22-year-old to use the toe as a finger and pinch.

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However, the personal trainer had to have numerous reconstructive surgeries to stretch the thumb bone between the ages of two and eight, and she was also very insecure about it.

Growing up, Olivia would typically try to hide the hand and would make up fanciful explanations if questioned about it.

She said: "I always wanted to be treated like any other child. I received the odd comment but I never let it faze me and never struggled to make friends.

"Growing up, I was very self-conscious and shy. My hand was always the elephant in the room and I knew that any new people I met would bring it up at some point.

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"When I turned eighteen and was able to go out and party, I realised just how self-conscious I had become. I would subconsciously hide my hand in my handbag or put it in my pocket."

Olivia used to hide the hand. Credit: Media Drum World
Olivia used to hide the hand. Credit: Media Drum World
The 22-year-old used to make up elaborate stories about her hand. Credit: Media Drum World
The 22-year-old used to make up elaborate stories about her hand. Credit: Media Drum World

But after breaking up from her former partner in June 2019, she decided to embrace her unusual hand, wearing short sleeves and posting pictures on social media with her hand on full display.

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Now, she is aiming to break into the modelling industry and raise awareness of people with limb differences.

She said: "I started off small by wearing short sleeves so that my hand was visible in public.

"I then began to take photographs and would make sure that my hand was out. I posted one and immediately felt a sense of relief and self-acceptance.

"I've luckily never had people be negative about my hand to me, but it was so uplifting to read other people's stories and see how accepting they are of themselves. I felt less alone to know that other people are going through the same thing as me.

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"I felt I should share my story too and support other people like me, so I started posting about my hand. It was so uplifting to feel a sense of community from people who understood and accepted me."

Olivia wants to raise awareness about limb differences. Credit: Media Drum World
Olivia wants to raise awareness about limb differences. Credit: Media Drum World
Olivia is hoping to be a model. Credit: Media Drum World
Olivia is hoping to be a model. Credit: Media Drum World
She had the transplant when she was two. Credit: Media Drum World
She had the transplant when she was two. Credit: Media Drum World
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Olivia hopes that by openly sharing on social media and creating a sense of community, people like her will create a more inclusive environment for children with limb differences to grow up in.

She said: "I have been overwhelmed by the messages I've received from people all over the world since sharing on social media. It encourages me and I have felt a lot more relaxed about showing my hand in public since.

"Advocacy of limb differences is so important because disability is not talked about enough. I want to see a world where children can grow up and know they will be accepted and loved just like anyone else, differences or not.

"I like to think that everyone's unique differences are what makes them beautiful."

Featured Image Credit: Media Drum World

Topics: Interesting, Community

Jake Massey
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