I was born in 1955 In Birmingham, Alabama. I grew up up with four fingers malformed and never new that I had anything wrong with my hand. I played every sport I could play football, basketball, baseball, wrestling without ever feeling held back by my hand. I was left handed so that solved some problems such as writing and throwing a ball.
In the teenager years I was embarrassed at times for people to see my hand and did get some looks when I would shake hands being a gentleman or when accepting a congratulatory handshake. I tended to keep my hand out of sight when girls were around.
I went to college and was accepted into dental school but was asked by the Dean of Admissions if I was a Thalidomide child and if I would agree to take some additional test before I could be formally accepted into dental school. This was the first time I felt like I was handicapped….it hurt!
I took the tests for dexterity and there was little difference in my hands in the performance test. I was accepted into dental school in 1977at UAB in Birmingham and graduated in 1981. I have had a great career as a general dentist for 37 years. I encourage anyone born with ABS to never allow this to get in your way of achieving great things in life.
Dr. J.Steve Shirley DMD