I Have A Hand Difference
I was born six weeks premature and my left hand hadn’t formed properly. I was also taken into intensive care, as I couldn’t breathe on my own. A couple of years later when I was two-years-old, I had a ten-hour operation to put one toe from each foot on to the two spots on my left hand that were missing fingers. For six weeks after my operation, I had to wear a cast on my arm and both legs. I had it on my legs because I wasn’t allowed to put pressure on my feet to protect them until they healed. I have also had other operations to make thumb longer and straighten my fingers.
When I was growing up I thought that I wouldn’t be able to do as much as other kids. But to my surprise, I could pretty much do anything if I put my mind to it.
I was very determined so I learnt to tie my shoelaces, ride a bike and use a knife and fork properly. I’ve played in a basketball team, tennis competition and training perfectly fine. When I go on the monkey bars, I use my wrist instead of my left hand and can climb just as easily. Mum and Dad have encouraged me to try as many new things as possible.
I see myself as a person no different to anyone else. Even though my hand is the way it is, it doesn’t worry me or affect my self-esteem. Little kids are fascinated by how my hand ended up the way it did. I tell them that I was just born this way. I have never been teased about my hand and my friends and classmates have always accepted me for who I am.
Angus, age 12