Family praise 'miracle' hand surgery

A FELIXSTOWE mum has praised surgeons who performed a “miracle” by saving her teenage daughter's hand through pioneering surgery that replaced two fingers and a thumb with bone from her pelvis.

A FELIXSTOWE mum has praised surgeons who performed a “miracle” by saving her teenage daughter's hand through pioneering surgery that replaced two fingers and a thumb with bone from her pelvis.

Kim Murray, of Langley Avenue, sustained terrible injuries to her right hand when the Fiat Cinquecento she was in overturned on the Bury St Edmunds-bound carriageway of the Orwell Bridge.

The 16-year-old was a passenger in the car, driven by a 19-year-old friend, when it was in collision with a Ford Focus on the Wherstead side of the bridge around 1.20pm on Saturday, June 10.

Miss Murray had to be rescued by firefighters after she put her arm out of the Fiat to protect herself, trapping her hand between the road and roof as it skidded for nearly 70 yards.

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A team of plastic surgeons from the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital had to graft bone from her pelvis and tendons from her wrists and ankles to rebuild her fingers and thumb.

The teenager had two operations before undergoing eight hours of surgery to attach the tendons and bone.

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Her mum, Wuananita, 37, told The Star her family could not thank the medical team enough for what they had done.

“The injury was so bad they thought that if the surgery didn't work they might have had to amputate,” Mrs Murray said.

“The surgeons were amazing and did a terrific job considering this was one of the first operations of its kind.

“They said it was one of the worst cases they had seen.

“It is a miracle her hand has been saved,” she added.

Mrs Murray said her family has been through a “horrendous” time since the accident but her daughter's hand is improving all the time and she has regained some movement in her fingers.

“Things are pretty hard going at the moment,” she said.

“Kim is doing well but she has some more operations to go.

“She has got slight movement in her fingers back and hopefully she will recover fully.

“She is a typical bubbly teenager who likes hanging around with friends and doing typical teenager stuff but there are a lot of things she can't do at the moment and she's spending much of her time at home,” she added.

Miss Murray has not been back to classes at her school, Deben High, since the accident but is determined to get back return in September when she is due to start sixth form college where she will study childcare.

Mrs Murray said the school is already preparing for her return and is looking into supplying her with a laptop computer or scribe to make things easier for her.

Miss Murray told The Star she was looking forward to starting college and was focusing on physiotherapy exercises to regain strength in her hand.

“My friends are really helping me through it and I always feel I can talk to them,” she said.

“I can't really remember much about the accident.

“I hope my hand gets back to normal in the long-term,” she added.

Plastic surgeon Elaine Sassoon, of Norfolk and Norwich Hospital, was quoted as describing Miss Murray's injuries as “horrific”.

Aside from physiotherapy, the teenager also faces two further operations to improve the cosmetic appearance of her new hand.

Her father, Stuart, 37, praised all the hospital staff who helped his daughter and supported the family through their “traumatic experience”.

"All the staff at the hospital have been fabulous, from the surgeons and nurses right through to the ward and canteen staff. It's been a traumatic experience but she's been very well looked after," he said.

Three other people involved in the crash, including two of Miss Murray's friends, were treated for what police described at the time as minor injuries.

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