THE LEFT HAND PAINTING

When she was three years old, my Bunn went to a birthday party.  The clever hostess had bought a tiny canvas for each child and had them put their right hands in paint and make a print to give to their mothers.  Bunn’s right hand was in plaster and this is why, today, a little left hand print adorns my dining room wall:

Just before her third birthday, Old Spouse took the Bunn for an ice cream in Fish Hoek.  As they neared the escalator leading up to the restaurant, he bent to pick her up, but she stubbornly insisted that she wanted to go up by herself.  She tripped and fell forward, her right hand jamming down the side of the scissoring steps.

There are serious arteries that lead into the hand, the Radial and Ulnar; and these branch into the fingers.  There are also serious tendons. 

Needless to say, the little hand was a mess of severed arteries and tendons.  She was rushed to the Red Cross Children’s Hospital, where she had a four-hour operation to ‘debride’ the hand; to clean it of the dirt and grease of the escalator.  When we heard the word ‘amputation’, we rallied friends to do some research and found out that a world-renowned hand surgeon was just down the road in Constantia and, in fact; ran a hand clinic at the Government Hospital.

We transferred Original Bunn to Constantiaberg Clinic and so began a series of operations over months, initially to reconstruct the hand and later to ‘make it pretty again’. 

The upshot of this wonderful doctor’s miraculous work is that – were she ever to visit a palm reader – OB’s hand simply has more lines than others, an indication of a very interesting life.

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36 Comments Add yours

  1. buttercup600 says:

    Cindy…my son had a terrible accident 12 years ago and his left leg had to be amputated (not just above the knee…the whole leg)…and am proud to say that I learn lessons from him every single day!! There is nothing he can’t do…plays golf, tennis and embrace life with so much passion…I am in awe of what he has achieved and when I read this, I know exactly what you went through!!…and true, lines to define a truly interesting life…Love my friend xx

    1. theonlycin says:

      I take my hat off to your son, Amanda. You obviously raised him very well!

    2. Count Czardas says:

      The human spirit can overcome almost anything, Buttercup, but I echo Cin’s comment that your son’s admirable spirit must have been shaped to some extent by good, positive parenting.

      1. buttercup600 says:

        Now that has touched my heart Count, I do believe that we must not dwell on the negative, rather turn it into sunshine. Thank you so much…you made me smile 🙂

  2. Adeeyoyo says:

    Oh she was SO lucky not to lose her hand! It is dreadful what we as mothers go through when our children get hurt – we would all take it on ourselves if we could! I have been through two terrible ordeals when my son was in hospital and he has always been he bravest person I know!

    1. theonlycin says:

      Bravery made possible with the support of a super mom, adee.

  3. I know your heart stops every time you think of this. brave to be able to post it

    1. theonlycin says:

      All part of catalogueing my journals, Sidey.

  4. nrhatch says:

    When I was her age, I refused to go on escalators. I insisted on finding an elevator or taking the stairs. Now I see that my caution was warranted.

    So glad that the story has had such a satisfactory outcome for your brave little girl.

    1. theonlycin says:

      Always listen to instinct Nancy!

  5. suzicate says:

    So glad this story has a happy ending…oh, the horror you all (and pain for her) that you guys went through.

    1. theonlycin says:

      It was a dreadful time suzicate.

  6. Thank you for sharing this. I am always amazed by the lives of others, especially when they go through such trauma.

    1. theonlycin says:

      The sadness that still strikes me about the incident is that, had we not been able to afford that doctor, she would have lost her hand 😦

  7. Jingle says:

    impressive and inspirational.
    people are capable of everything….

    1. theonlycin says:

      Yes, the wonderful human spirit. Have a nice weekend Jingle 🙂

  8. Amy MacLeod says:

    What an experience for all three of you. Love hearing how the Universe profoundly gives what is so needed…like the world renowned hand surgeon. Thanks retroactively!

  9. Sparky says:

    Thanks for sharing Cin, it must have been horrible. I read about Stomp, is he the same one who always wanted meat with his meals? nice tribute you wrote.

    1. theonlycin says:

      No Sparky, that was Mesterd who worked here after Stomp died, we now have Goodwin.

  10. gospelwriter says:

    Well, and she has had an interesting life, a hand that has experienced a lot more than the average 3+ -year-old… Oh my goodness, what you all must have gone through! – soooo glad it worked out ok. I can see why the little hand painting still adorns the wall…

    1. theonlycin says:

      My most valuable piece of art 🙂

  11. slpmartin says:

    That story sent chills down my spine…you were quite fortunate to have found some one with the necessary skills to do that type of complex surgery…you were blessed that’s for sure.

  12. Kavita says:

    A very interesting life… poor gal had to bear a lot!! WHY!!!!!
    But all’s well now, the hand rests happy 🙂 and so the image the print…
    Soooo happy for the 3 of you, Cindy!!!

    1. theonlycin says:

      Thanks Kavita. “Ours is not to question why …”

  13. Jamie Dedes says:

    Phew! Oh my goodness, Cindy. How awful for you all. Glad the story ends well … How fortunate that such a specialist was so near.

    1. theonlycin says:

      He’s a miracle worker, recently attached both hands of a worker who had an accident with some machinery:
      http://allafrica.com/stories/201008180308.html

      1. Jamie Dedes says:

        That poor man. In shock! Of course.

        Amazing what our surgeons are able to do these day. Here they just removed a woman’s gall bladder through her mouth. Sounds gruesome, but two stiches, no scares, no bleeding.

        Thanks for the link to the story, Cindy.

  14. frayedges says:

    I cringed when I read this. I could envision the horror and feel the pain. I am so glad they were able to save her hand.

    1. theonlycin says:

      Thanks for the visit 🙂

  15. Naomi says:

    OMG, Cin!! I caught my breath and clapped a gratefully uninjured hand to my mouth reading this. What your tiny little girl must have endured! And you as her parents. Not to mention your family as well, Amanda! May you all be blessed with loads of love, strength, and exquisitely interesting lives, xx

    My sister-in-law has just returned (from the Organ Donor Foundation) to the Children’s Hospital Trust (Red Cross Children’s Hospital), in charge of their fund-raising – a big responsibility which she tackles with huge heart 🙂

  16. frayedges says:

    I have two awards for you. If you’d like to accept, you can find them here: http://frayedges.wordpress.com/2010/09/06/blogger-awards/

  17. Tokeloshe says:

    Ouch! ;-(
    Great post!

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