Girl Born Without Fingers Sees Success — One Inch At A Time

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A brave little girl in Columbus is getting a lot of attention after her surgery to help grow her fingers.

Gabby McElwain, 8, doesn’t miss a doctor’s appointment without her favorite stuffed animal, who has a bandage just like hers.

Gabby was born without fingers on her right hand, and a device is changing that.

She underwent surgery, where Dr. Lawrence Lubbers attached a limb-lengthening device to her hands.

Pins were placed in her bones. They’re fractured, and as they heal, the fingers lengthen.

“I had surgery to make my fingers longer,” she said.

Gabby isn’t Dr. Lubbers’ youngest patient.

“She’s probably been the bravest and the best,” Lubbers said.

It’s a demanding device that needs to be protected and cleaned. The pins do all the work, but Gabby must turn them with a wrench.

She turns the pins four times a day, and said she doesn’t think anything of it now.

“I’m so proud of her. She just takes care of her hand herself. [She’s] very protective of it, does her wrapping and turns her pins every day,” said Kim Howell, Gabby’s aunt.

She has grown about an inch so far, and even has movement.

“We’ve made a lot of progress in a short amount of time. To take a hand that was marginally useful, daily activities … it’s a great feeling,” Lubbers said.

Gabby should be able to get the device removed in about a month, but she will likely have more surgeries to grow her fingers as she grows.  WATCH VIDEO HERE

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