HAND surgeons across the UK are appealing for patients, their friends and their families to come forward to star in a new book celebrating their inspiring stories.
Hands Re:Worked will feature extraordinary tales of courage and life-changing episodes from across the country where people have had their lives reclaimed by the skills of hand surgeons.
The book is backed by celebrities such as JJ Chalmers and Cerys Matthews who are both staunch supporters of the work of members of the British Society for Surgery of the Hand.
Afghanistan Veteran, Royal Marine and Invictus Games gold medalist JJ Chalmers said: “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 what quite frankly even before my injury I would have taken for granted.
“I suppose that’s the thing that we all too often take for granted: just how important our hands are and just 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 relearn and most importantly the incredible people that gave me that opportunity by saving my hands and for continuing to look after them.”
After 18 months of the Covid pandemic, this stunning montage of photographs and experiences aims to be an uplifting and inspirational reminder of the success stories of these specialist surgeons and the patients whose lives they transform.
Hands Re:Worked will feature a wide variety of life-affirming patients’ stories, from para-triathletes to stonemasons, Archbishops to survivors of terrorist attacks.
The project will be financed by crowd funding, and any additional money raised will be used to support the charitable work of the BSSH.
Consultant Hand Surgeon Sue Fullilove who is the President of the British Society for Surgery of the Hand and who works in Derriford Hospital in Plymouth, said: “There has never been a better time to highlight the fascinating good news stories that come out of our operating theatres. 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.”
BSSH Member and Consultant Hand Surgeon Ryan Trickett said on the launch: “We could not be more proud 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.
“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 ourselves, 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 these 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 treatment of patients, both in the UK and globally.
The official launch of the crowdfunder for Hands Re:Worked will take place on 14 October at The Royal College of Surgeons from 13:00, upon which copies of the book will be available to purchase at RRP £30 via https://crowdfunder.co.uk/handsreworked.
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.