WHEN dad Martin Shaw was involved in a car crash this year he was convinced he had lost his arm.
The 35-year-old was left with horrific injuries to his right hand and forearm following the crash on September 9 this year.
During the horror crash, Martin, who lives in Leicester, rolled his car four times before being rushed to Leicester Royal Infirmary.
Martin’s kids have now affectionately nicknamed him Frankenstein after surgeons employed a wartime skin grafting technique known as a pedicled flap, which involved attaching it to his abdomen to help the skin tissue heal in order to save his hand.
Martin said: "What happened after the car stopped is a bit of a blur but I remember seeing my arm and thinking, that's it, I've lost it.
"I couldn't really take it in as what they planned to do was explained to me, but I was willing to try anything to save my hand and arm.
"It's a very strange feeling "I do keep forgetting and going to reach for things or try and move it but I'm amazed at what they've been able to do.
"I'm lucky we have these techniques. It's unbelievable I've come out of this and will still have my hand.”
He added that ‘words were not enough’ to thank his surgeon, Nakul Patel.
“Nothing has been too much trouble for anyone, the care I've had – I've been blown away. There aren't enough words.
"My kids couldn't believe it when they saw it – they said it looked like something from the Halloween aisle. So I don't need to get a costume this year.
"I'm just looking forward to having my arm free so I can have a big yawn and stretch in the mornings”, he said.
Plastic surgeon Mr Patel opened a patch of skin across Martin’s abdomen and attached it to his thumb and hand to enable healthy tissue to cover his wounds.
It will stay that way for a further week before a further operation takes place to release the hand and close up the stomach.
Martin will then face a long journey of rehab to regain full use of his hand and fingers once his muscles and tendons have been repaired.
Mr Patel explained how Martin sustained multiple fractures to all his fingers and thumb and a large amount of his skin, tendons and muscle had all been torn away during the crash.
Mr Patel said: "The first thing to do was clean the wounds, there was mud, gravel, grass and road surface in all his wounds and that posed a high risk of infection.
"People think that plastic surgery is purely cosmetic, this is a case that shows otherwise.
"It's actually a very old technique, one used in war time, with the scale of Mr Shaw's injuries we needed to do this to have any chance of saving his hand.
"We don't have to do it very often in this modern day but there are exceptional circumstances such as this one and we wanted to do everything possible to save his hand.
"Care like this is a huge team effort by surgeons, registrars, doctors, specialist nurses, health care assistants, domestics, physios, orthopaedics, chaplaincy, microbiology, the burns and plastics team, occupational therapists, psychiatrists – the list goes on.
"His case really goes to show the high standard of care on offer to patients every day and the excellent specialist care of the Kinmonth Ward staff."
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