Zac Miller was working on a remote farming property in Western Australia when a bull kicked his hand into a fence.
After two unsuccessful operations, doctors were unable to save his thumb, so they opted to relocate his big toe to his hand. After a surgery lasting eight hours, doctors were successful in the transfer.
It took a lot of convincing for Mitchell to agree to the transfer, however. Lead plastic surgeon Dr Sean Nicklin said, “It is a bit of a crazy idea – they [patients] do not want to be injured in another part of their body. [However] even if you have got four good fingers, if you do not have something to pinch against them, your hand has lost a huge amount of its function.”
Mitchell will need about 12 months of rehabilitation, and contrary to popular belief, the loss of partial, or even a whole, toe does not affect walking balance that much. His mom Karen confirmed that just two weeks after the operation, “his walking is almost back to normal.”