Terri recovering from latest operation

SNUGGLED under her pink duvet, Terri Calvesbert smiles as she plays games with her nurse.What the pictures do not show is that the brave nine-year-old has her right arm bandaged to her side as the result of the latest in a string of operations.

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SNUGGLED under her pink duvet, Terri Calvesbert smiles as she plays games with her nurse.

What the pictures do not show is that the brave nine-year-old has her right arm bandaged to her side as the result of the latest in a string of operations.

Terri has been staying at the Broomfield Hospital, near Chelmsford, since March 4, where doctors are attempting to make a thumb for her right hand.


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She lost all of her fingers in the horrific fire that engulfed the family's home seven years ago, and rebuilding them is long slow process.

Her dad Paul said: “This operation is to try and create something for them to build a thumb on. They have sewn her right hand to her side so that new tissue grows around it and, in the long run, they are hoping to remove one of her toes and use it as a thumb.

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“This operation will hopefully create a good base to attach it to.”

The operation may sound drastic but will enable Terri to do much more in the long run, although she is very adept at using her hands to pick up objects anyway.

The latest procedure involves weekly visits to the operating theatre so surgeons can check on her progress and Paul, who has been sleeping on a chair bed beside Terri's bed for the last month, is hopeful that they will be able to release her hand within the next few days.

He said: “She's had a few setbacks as she got an infection a few weeks ago, but she seems a lot better now.

“She has her good days and bad days but she is definitely improving.”

Terri, a pupil at Whitehouse Junior School, says she is looking forward to getting home.

She said: “I miss school. I like school and I'm looking forward to going back.

“I'm looking forward to being able to get out of bed and play.”

If everything goes to plan Terri is expected to be back at home within the next few weeks.

Janine Woolley, staff nurse at Broomfield, said: “She is doing really well. She's such a good patient and she's been an absolute star.”

Terri Calvesbert was asleep in her home in Ipswich in November 1998, when flames swept through her bedroom.

She suffered burns to 85 per cent of her body.

The Evening Star has followed Terri's progress since the fire, and run a fund which has raised more than £340,000 for her future needs. Donations have been sent from all over the world.

Donations can be sent to The Terri Calvesbert Appeal, Geraldine Thompson, Editor's Secretary, 30 Lower Brook street, Ipswich, Suffolk, IP4 1AN.

See the Evening Star website for more on Terri's story at www.eveningstar.co.uk/content/eveningstar/terricalvesbert/

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