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New thumb for Terri

PUBLISHED: 20:00 18 June 2002 | UPDATED: 12:07 03 March 2010

PROUD Terri Calvesbert now has two thumbs to help make life easier, after a major operation at Broomfield Hospital, Chelmsford.

The Ipswich five-year-old, who suffered 85 per cent burns in a house fire as a baby in 1998, has had a big operation every year since to try and rebuild her scarred body.

PROUD Terri Calvesbert now has two thumbs to help make life easier, after a major operation at Broomfield Hospital, Chelmsford.

The Ipswich five-year-old, who suffered 85 per cent burns in a house fire as a baby in 1998, has had a major operation every year since to try and rebuild her scarred body.

Today she is back in the Essex hospital ward where she lived for many months after the fire, and for periods since, with her dad, Paul.

She is a firm favourite with the nurses there, and treats the ward like a second home.

Her grandad, Mick Calvesbert, said the operation had gone well, and Terri had been proud to see the new right thumb which top plastic surgeon, Peter Dziewulski, created for her.

She had a left thumb created in a similar operation in July last year, when Mr Dziewulski created a gap on her right hand to give her a thumb, and inserted metal pins to hold the bones in place.

Mr Calvesbert said: "When she saw her thumb, she said Peter had given her a snail, because of its shape. I think Peter was quite pleased!"

Terri also had surgery on her neck and wrist, and her right arm is bandaged.

Paul said: "It all went well, although the surgeons weren't able to operate on her finger as they had planned to. That was a bit of a disappointment at first.

"Terri was a bit tired on Thursday because the operation only finished late on Wednesday night."

She is due to have a second operation in four weeks' time, and will be in hospital for at least the next two months.

The Evening Star's fund for her future has raised more than £100,000.

Jon Bird of Norwich ran the London Marathon and raised £1,030 for the appeal, naming Terri's courage as his inspiration during months of training.

Even her great grandparents, Eric and Peggy Minter, asked for donations instead of presents at their Diamond Wedding, raising £60, and forwarded £50 from the Norbridge Senior Citizens' Club.

Keith Craddock, Andy Elvin, and Robert Cooper from Norwich sent £665.

n Donations, payable to the Terri Calvesbert Appeal, can be sent to Geraldine Thompson, Editor's Secretary, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN.

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