Hope for girl with crushed fingers
A WEEK after her fingers were crushed by a sugarcane machine, 14-year-old Tan Li Xuan was able to move her right thumb - once a toe had been attached to the half-severed digit.
For her mother, Madam Mabel Ang, it was a huge relief, but she said the coming week would be crucial.
"I heaved a sigh of relief after we found out that she could move her thumb, but doctors say we will know whether the operation is successful only this week," Madam Ang, 44, told Shin Min Daily News yesterday.
Li Xuan had three of her fingers crushed when she tried to dislodge a jammed piece of sugarcane from a juicer at her father's drinks stall the previous Sunday.
Doctors at Tan Tock Seng Hospital attached a toe from her right foot to her right thumb in a 13-hour operation on Boxing Day, but blood-flow problems in the newly attached digit led to another four-hour operation the next day.
They also performed two skin grafts for her.
The accident left Li Xuan's right index and middle fingers severed, her thumb half severed, and skin badly lacerated up to her wrist.
Her father, Mr Tan Guan An, 50, said he rushed to the hospital immediately on hearing the good news.
"This is the first piece of good news I've heard since the accident," said the hawker, who has yet to step back into his stall after the tragedy.
He told Shin Min Daily that gruesome visions of the accident start to surface once he is within sight of the Toa Payoh Lorong 8 hawker centre.
"I just can't make myself step in there. Hopefully, it will get better and I can re-open the stall," said Mr Tan, who also voiced concerns about their ability to foot the medical fees.
Doctors estimate that it will take Li Xuan nine months to recover before she can begin rehabilitation on her injured hand, The Straits Times reported.
As she is right-handed, she will be trained by therapists to use her left hand for daily activities instead.