Boy’s limbs reattached after freak accident
10-year-old Aussie lost hands, foot while dunking basketball
SYDNEY - An Australian boy who had both his hands and a foot reattached after they were severed in a freak basketball accident was awake and smiling on Tuesday despite being in considerable pain, his doctors said.Ten-year-old Terry Vo’s hands and left foot were sliced off on Saturday when a brick wall supporting a basketball backboard gave way as he executed a slam dunk at a friend’s birthday party in Perth, the Western Australian state capital.
The weight and force of the collapse, and the sharp brick edges and a broken metal rain gutter, cut through his three limbs just above the wrists and ankle.
Vo’s hands and foot were simultaneously reattached during a seven-hour operation, believed to be the first of its kind, conducted by a team of 25 surgeons and support staff, said Deanne King, spokeswoman for Perth’s Princess Margaret Hospital.
The boy also underwent two hours of skin grafts on Monday.
'Smiling and alert'
Dr. Robert Love, who led the surgery, said Vo’s limbs were all functioning and he had a good chance of recovery despite the horrific injuries.
“Terry’s well, smiling and alert. He has still obviously got pain where the limbs have been attached but he is very positive, and moving some of his parts,” Love told reporters.
“They (the hands and foot) are most definitely alive ... the reattached limbs are certainly pink, well perfused and are indeed moving today. What he will lose is some of the skin, and he will certainly require lots of further surgery,” he said.
Love said that, although the operations could be regarded as an early success, it could be up to two years before the full extent of the boy’s recovery was known.
A hospital spokeswoman said Vo would be released from intensive care later on Tuesday.