View Full Version : Caithness fisherman's miracle operation

21-Dec-11, 09:29
Donald gives complex operation the thumb's up

SURGEONS have given a Caithness fisherman a “new thumb” in a complex to replace the one he lost in an accident at sea last year.
They grafted one of Donald Gunn’s toes onto his hand and it’s proving to be as good as new.
The accident happened while he was working on the deck of the Orkney-registered vessel, Keiller off Sumburgh Head, in July. The thumb of his right hand got caught up in a rope.
Mr Gunn was airlifted to Aberdeen Royal Infirmary but surgeons couldn’t save the thumb which had to be removed at the palm. The accident cost him his job but he put himself forward for plastic surgery.
Consultant plastic surgeon Amir Tadros believed a toe transplant was a viable option.
He said: “By using the second toe from his left foot we ensured that the patient's balance wasn’t affected and the cosmetic appearance was almost the same as a normal foot.”
The 12-hour operation was an endurance test for both the surgical team and the patient but the initial recovery made it all worthwhile for them.
Mr Gunn, who is in his fifties, couldn’t have agreed more. He was able to report that the operation had dramatically improved his quality life and paid tribute to the Mr Tadros and his medical team.
Mr Gunn said the loss of the thumb meant he was unable to work and added: “My right hand became essentially useless and I felt really low. It might be a small part of the body but it’s only when you lose it that you realise how important it is. It’s less than two weeks since I had the operation but the difference it has made to me already is unbelievable.”