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Man Who Lost His Hand Moves Fingers Just One Day After Surgery

Man Who Lost His Hand Moves Fingers Just One Day After Surgery

A man who lost his hand in a meat-slicing accident, was able to move his fingers again just one day after undergoing emergency surgery.

Lawrence Cooper's hand was severed in half below the thumb during a shift at a factory in Brisbane, Australia this summer.

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The 23-year-old was rushed to hospital and taken to the operating room where surgeons worked tirelessly to try and save his extremity.

And save it they did, because just a day later he was able to wriggle his fingers.

Looking back at the incident, Lawrence said: "I only remember glimpses after I did it. Most of it wasn't actually pain - a lot of it they call it phantom pain, where you can still feel your pain even though it's not there."

Surgeons worked for seven hours to save his hand. Credit: Mater Hospital
Surgeons worked for seven hours to save his hand. Credit: Mater Hospital

Fortunately for Lawrence, a colleague quickly scooped up his severed hand and placed it in ice to give him the best chance of having it reattached.

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One of the surgeons, Dr Theo Birch, who worked for seven hours to save the patient's hand, said it wasn't easy.

Speaking to ABC, he said: "Before we could even consider reattachment we had to establish if we could reconnect the blood supply to the severed hand within a viable time frame.

"Unfortunately you can't just connect an artery together straight away to restore blood flow as the construct is too flimsy.

"You need to plate and screw the bones together, repair the deeper tendons - only then is it safe to focus on the fine microvascular surgery."

Following the painstaking op, doctors monitored Lawrence's condition carefully.

Lawrence lost his hand in a meat-slicing accident. Credit: Mater Hospital
Lawrence lost his hand in a meat-slicing accident. Credit: Mater Hospital

Dr Birch added: "If any of those blood vessels get a small clot or thrombus in it, then the whole circulation goes off."

And within a few hours of leaving the operating theatre, Lawrence was able to move some of his digits, which Dr Birch says is promising of a good recovery.

He said: "His movement the next day was promising. We gave him a day's rest, put it into a splint and got things moving to improve the chances of success.

"Cut nerves are the most unpredictable part of the process because for a successful recovering they need to grow, which is a very slow process."

Lawrence underwent the surgery in August and says he's hopeful of regaining full use of his hand.

He added: "You're always grateful and you're always happy but there's a lot of mental issues. I think you've just got to be strong-willed.

"It's just about seeing how it progresses."

Featured Image Credit: ABC

Topics: Science, Interesting, Weird, Australia, Health

Dominic Smithers

Dominic graduated from the University of Leeds with a degree in French and History. Like you, Dom has often questioned how much use a second language has been. Well, after stints working at the Manchester Evening News, the Accrington Observer and the Macclesfield Express, along with never setting foot in France, he realised the answer is surprisingly little. But I guess, c'est la vie. Contact us at [email protected]

 

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