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Thumbs up: Teen recovers from toe-to-thumb transplant with help from Mary Free Bed’s Hand Therapy Program

Aiden Adkins was using a woodworking saw to create a gift as a prom proposal to his girlfriend when he accidentally cut off his thumb. Unable to find it, doctors repaired the wound, and Aiden went about his life, getting ready to graduate from Carson City-Crystal High School and competing on its clay target team.

While he adapted and excelled without his thumb, Aiden decided to try a transplant. Four months after the accident, doctors at University of Michigan Hospital replaced the missing thumb by transplanting the index toe from his left foot. He spent months in Mary Free Bed’s Hand Therapy Program, working with occupational therapist Kelly Nye to strengthen his new thumb and restore as much function as possible.

“I want (people) to see that, yes, there are bumps in the road, there are hard times … but anything’s possible,” said Aiden, who’s named his new digit “Wilbur,” after the pig in the children’s novel, “Charlotte’s Web.” “It’s one of my little piggies.”

Watch Aiden’s story here:

Greenville Daily News sports editor Alex Freeman wrote a story about Aiden, a multi-sport athlete, after he clinched the state title in skeet shooting. That was in June – without his thumb.

Read Alex’s report here, and watch this video to learn more:

Aiden’s story has drawn attention from media locally (watch WOOD-TV’s report here) and around the world, including India and the United Kingdom.

For more on Mary Free Bed’s Hand Therapy program, click here.

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