Hand surgeons across the UK are appealing for patients, their friends and their families to come forward to be part of a new book celebrating their inspiring stories.
Hands Re: Worked will be an exclusive collection of photographs and inspirational stories from all over the UK, showcasing the work of the British Society for the Surgery of the Hand (BSSH).
The book is backed by Afghan veteran J. J. Chalmers, who sustained life-changing injuries following his military deployment to Helmond in 2011.
He underwent hundreds of hours in surgery before going on to become an Invictus Games Gold medalist.
‘I came very close to losing both my hands and thanks to the incredible work of my surgery team I have just about kept both of them. However, I have a level of function which, quite frankly, even before my injury, I would have taken for granted.’
‘I suppose that’s the thing that we all too often overlook, just how important our hands are and how we depend on them every single day to live, let alone to do the things that we love.’
‘And it’s not lost on me that it was the incredible work of the hands of my hand surgeon that led me to be able to rediscover my passions that I had before, whether this was as a sports’ person, a woodworker and now as a father.’
‘When I see my kids learning to use their hands for the first time it reminds me of everything that I have had to re-learn and, most importantly, the incredible people that gave me that opportunity by saving my hands, and for continuing to look after them.’
The book will feature extraordinary tales of courage and life-changing episodes where people have had their lives reclaimed by the skills of hand surgeons.
It aims to be an uplifting and inspirational reminder of the successes these specialist surgeons can provide for the people whose lives they transform.
Hands Re: Worked will feature a wide variety of life-affirming patients’ stories, from para-triathletes to stonemasons, Archbishops and to survivors of terrorist attacks.
The project will be financed by crowdfunding. Any additional money raised will be used to support the charitable work of the BSSH.
‘There has never been a better time to highlight the fascinating good news stories that come out of our operating theatres,’ explains Sue Fullilove, BSSH President and Consultant Hand Surgeon.
‘We are shining a spotlight on the life-enhancing work our surgeons do on a daily basis all around the country and how we are now, even in these uncertain times, working harder than ever to make sure our patients get the treatment that they need and deserve.’
‘We could not be prouder to acknowledge the amazing work of our surgeons in this book and we are so grateful to the patients who let us feature their stories,’ says Ryan Trickett, BSSH Member and Consultant Hand Surgeon.
‘Hands Re: Worked aims to raise awareness of common hand problems and injury, as well as the countless operations that are performed every year by skilled hand surgeons, to restore comfort and function to this most important of human tools.’
‘We use our hands to feed and dress, to express our feelings and communicate, to touch and care, to scribe, to play, to work.’
‘Loss of hand function threatens our independence, our well-being and our livelihoods. Hand surgeons are dedicated to restoring them after what are often life-changing injuries or diseases.’
The British Society for Surgery of the Hand is a medical charity, supporting education, training and research in hand surgery, to improve the treatment of patients, both in the UK and globally.
The official launch of the crowd funder for Hands Re: Worked took place this autumn.
Individuals or companies are invited to donate to the project, or purchase rewards from £10 to £750, ranging from copies of the book itself to bespoke artwork by a hand surgeon, or a professional print of one of the images from the book. More details can be found on the Hands Re: Worked Crowdfunding page:
Photography credit: Poppy Jakes