Font Zoom in Regular Zoom out

Dave’s Story

Dave at 6


My name is Dave.

I am 6 years old and was born with a condition called ‘symbrachydactyly’. I have 3 middle fingers missing from my right hand, with a small thumb and little finger. When I was in my mum’s tummy my fingers didn’t grow. The doctors are not sure why they didn’t grow, and told my Mum and Dad that one in every 100,000 children are born with this condition.

When I was 10 months old, I had an operation at the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne. Hand surgeons Chris Coombs and Phillip Richardson removed a bone from my middle toe on my right foot and fused it to the bone in my right thumb (lower bone insert in the right thumb). I cannot bend my right thumb like you can, but, I can still do lots of things anyway.

If someone asks me about my hand, I tell them what happened when I was in my Mum’s tummy and that I’m alright and I can do most things without any help at all.

I could ride a bike without training wheels and push myself on the swing when I was 3, do all the buttons on my shirt when I was 4, and tie my own show laces when I was 5. I really enjoy hanging from monkey bars and blowing bubbles and balloons.

My Mum and Dad are very proud of me.

I love windmills and air balloons. Dad made me a ‘Dutch Windmill’ in our backyard and when we drive through the countryside, I always count the windmills that are on farms.

These are my hands

Here Is Dave Today

Can-do Attitude, An Article by Peter Reynolds

Published in the Moreland Leader, 12 Oct 2015

“Having been bullied because he was different, Coburg’s Dave Serpell is making sure youngsters with the same affliction have a positive role model. The 16-year-old was born with two fingers on his right hand, but he has not let that stop him achieving…”

Read Article