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Easton, New Hampton, Iowa

Easton was born in July, 2007 at full term after an easily blissful pregnancy. Two ultrasounds showed we had a perfectly healthy baby and as one technician said "10 fingers, 10 toes!" Well, we did have a healthy baby but were short of a few of those 10 fingers.

When Easton was born at 1:30 a.m., they wrapped him up and I held my precious baby boy as love at first site overwhelmed me. They then took him to run a few tests and he was grunting a little so they took him briefly to the NICU. A nurse then came back in and told my husband and I that his left hand was "slightly cupped". I guess her idea of cupped and mine was different and I'll never forget the first time I unwrapped his swaddle to see that he didn't have a thumb. He had three very short digits fused together and a partially formed pinky.

The next few days were filled with tests and x-rays to make sure this was an isolated problem and it was. Each time our plastic surgeon, who has his PhD in hand development, came in to check something, we just prayed that Easton would pass the test.

The hardest part of the first few weeks and visits from family and friends was that people would focus on his hand. I would get so upset because there was so much more to our baby boy than his little hand. After we left the hospital, we decided that the first few months we were just going to focus on loving Easton and would start researching our medical options for him when he was three months old and a little easier to travel with. Things we learned quickly about his left hand…it was easier to slide into his sleeves, he could wiggle his left arm out of his swaddle and then would wake himself up, the entire hand could fit in his mouth which ended up being a comfort to him.

We started our journey at Shriner's Hospital in Minneapolis then went to the Medical College of Wisconsin/Children's Hospital in Milwaukee and the Mayo Clinic in Rochester. After our visit to Milwaukee, we knew in our hearts that was the place for Easton. Our plastic surgeon is one of the best in the country and the first words out of his mouth were "We are going to give this little boy a thumb." I could have jumped up and hugged him as tears welled up in my eyes.

Easton's surgery took place on August 5, 2008 at 11:00 a.m. so we fed him a full meal at 11:30 p.m. We left the hotel at 9:00 and Easton was in a great mood. At the hospital, he played in the toy room and with a Cozy Coupe until they were ready to give him his loopy medicine. You would have never guessed this baby hadn't eaten for 11 hours. As the nurse took him to the OR, he was waving to everyone and saying "Hi". As the medicine kicked in, all he could do was waving with one finger - very cute!

The three-hour surgery was a great success and the doctors were able to give Easton a thumb and release his pinky from his other little digits. Our referring plastic surgeon from Mason City, Iowa was there with us and in the OR so that made us a lot more comfortable too. When one of us could go see Easton, he was awake and quiet but when he saw me, a little whimper meant, "Cuddle me Mommy". Your heart just breaks a little seeing him hooked up to IV's with a cast on up to his shoulder. They have no idea what just happened but as parents, we know we did what was best for him.

After an overnight stay, we were released at 11:00 a.m. and went back to the hotel to catch up on our sleep. The most amazing thing happened when we set Easton on the floor with his toys, he started crawling with his cast and pulling up on the furniture. Nothing is going to hold him back! To keep the cast clean and soften it a little, we bought little kid's tube socks and would change it twice a day.

After five weeks in a cast (1 cast change required), Easton was the proud owner of a new thumb! He really uses it well and is still gaining strength in it. He may need one more surgery before he starts kindergarten to release the pinky a little bit more.

Now almost two years old, Easton's favorite activities are climbing, golf, hockey, playing his drum and cooking. He still continues to amaze us with his determination, sense of humor and adorable personality. My husband and I joke that when Easton was created by God, the energy to make his left hand got caught in his funny bone!

To communicate with Easton, you may contact his parents via email.

If you want to be a SuperHands Kid or Hero, or know any inspiring stories that would be a benefit to this site's viewers, please send me an email. Thank You!

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