Fern’s story

Close up picture of fingers affected by Amniotic Band Syndrome

My name is Fern Graham I am 17 years old and I was born with Amniotic Band Syndrome. When I was born I had a short middle finger on my right hand also the finger beside (ring finger) has a fused knuckle. I had a tiny wee strand of skin joining my middle finger to my ring finger that the doctor snipped. I have noticed now that I’m older I have bands round my leg that aren’t very noticeable unless you are looking in the right light. My mum and dad were a wee bit shocked but they soon realised oh well she’s still beautiful.

Growing up I learned to accept it I was always happy with it and I’d already learned how to write with my left hand before I can remember and other things like that. Though using scissors and can openers is quite difficult left handed haha. I remember kids knowing me by the girl with a missing finger but I didn’t mind, kids at school would say are you the girl with the missing finger? And I’d say yup. They’d say can I look at it and I’d just show them as if nothing was wrong. Even at high school their were still kids asking me but I’d just learned to accept it and carry on. They’d ask me what happen and I’d just say I was born like that. My mums friends would say to make up some cool story about how it happened but I’d always say the same thing “I was born like that”.

I’ve had to have a couple of surgeries on my hand. The first one was because the bone in my middle finger was growing fast and my skin wasn’t so I needs some extra skin put on also because the cold hurt it and also if I banged it on anything that would hurt. So they sewed my fingers together to keep the skin alive and they put a rod in my ring finger to straighten the bone and to try to see if they could defuse the knuckle. Then I had the second surgery to get the skin off my pointer finger put on to pad my short finger, then they took the skin off my elbow and put it on my pointer finger. A few weeks later they took out the rod. My fingers have felt way better since then except my ring finger is exactly the same still a wee bit bend and still fused (except now it’s scarred) haha

Even though all of this, I love my hand and I can’t imagine it normal. That is my story:)

Thanks for reading