Mother, 35, pleas with doctors to amputate her hand because she can't do basic chores
16:13 GMT, 19 March 2012
A mother-of-one is considering having her right hand amputated and replaced with a prosthetic, after watching an inspiring TV documentary.
Nicola Wilding, 35, lost the use of her right hand and arm after she was involved in a car crash 12 years ago.
She says she has since struggled with everyday tasks and hit upon the unorthodox solution after learning about the revolutionary procedure last year.
Nicola Wilding meets Austrian surgeon Oskar Aszmann and shows him her injured arm
Mrs Wilding has regained some movement in the limb after she had nerves transplanted from her leg into her upper arm and underwent physiotherapy. However, she has never regained any feeling in her withered hand.
Mrs Wilding said it makes even the simplest task, such as buttering a piece of bread, very difficult.
'It's the everyday things. If you go to butter toast you can't hold
it. I've used my teeth to open bottles and chipped some teeth. Taking my
clothes off, having a shower,' she told the BBC.
'There are things I just can't do.'
The mother-of-one, who lives in Surrey with her parents and son, thinks the solution could be to have her 'useless' hand removed and replaced with a bionic one.
She said she was 'filled with hope' after watching a TV feature last year about an Austrian man called Milo who had a prosthesis fitted after suffering a similar injury to herself.
Nicola's right hand is completely paralysed
The procedure was performed by
Viennese surgeon Oskar Aszmann who also performed the first voluntary
hand amputation in 2010 on a patient called Patrick.
Patrick, 25, lost the use of his left
hand after he was electrocuted. He can now open a bottle quickly and
tie his own shoelaces with his prosthesis, which has two sensors
fitted over nerves within the lower arm.
Mrs Wilding has now undergone a consultation with Dr Aszmann who told her she could be a suitable patient.
However, Dr Aszmann added: 'These are risky decisions – they are irreversible. Once the extremity is gone it's gone, you cannot put it back on again.
'She says she wants to have a functional hand and arm, so I think for her there's no question in her mind.'
Patrick (pictured) was the first to voluntarily have a limb amputated so he could be fitted with a prosthetic hand
However, Mrs Wilding says she is mentally prepared to take the drastic step.
'I've sat on it, I’ve burnt it,
I’ve nearly shut it in the door,' she said referring to her injured hand.
'I wouldn’t miss it.'
Mrs Wilding plans to travel to Vienna in May for more thorough tests to assess her suitability for the procedure.
If she is she will next consider how she could raise the funds for the surgery and a lifetime's worth of prosthetic hands.