Woman can finally wear ring again after wedding finger is ripped off just weeks before the big day
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A woman can finally wear her wedding ring after her finger was ripped off just weeks before the big day.
Natalie Diamond, from Downley, High Wycombe, was retrieving her wedding dress from the loft on 5 June 2021 when disaster struck.
The 44-year-old fell from the ladder but got her engagement ring caught on the top of it, leaving her suspended by her finger. But moments later, the carer hit the ground after her finger 'ripped clean off'.
"It all happened so fast, but it also felt like it happened in slow motion," Natalie recalled.
"One minute I was up in the loft, the next I was on the floor with pain roaring through my hand.
"I thought I'd just bashed it, but then I looked over and saw my finger lying on the floor.
''I was more worried about my wedding being ruined, I couldn't believe this had happened so close to my big day.''
Despite the horror of the situation, Natalie's instincts kicked in and she instructed her friend Caroline to get her finger on ice - before one of the dogs ate it.
"There was a moment where my body was dangling from my ring, before I hit the floor," she said. "The pain was so intense, but my body basically went into autopilot.
"I instinctively held my hand above my head and squeezed down with my other hand to stem the bleeding.
"I didn't realise the extent of my injuries until I saw my severed digit on the floor in front of me. Caroline was absolutely hysterical, but I was weirdly calm.
"I just kept thinking that my wedding was ruined - it sounds silly, but it was all I could think about.
"I knew I needed help, so I walked downstairs towards my front door and told Caroline to ring my fiancé and then an ambulance. But then I realised that we'd left my finger upstairs, and I was terrified that one of my dogs would eat it."
An ambulance arrived after 20 minutes and she was rushed to Stoke Mandeville Hospital, where medics spent six hours reattaching the mangled finger.
Plastic surgeon Dr James Chan said: "This was an absolutely devastating injury for Natalie. Not only physically but psychologically. The ring finger is such an important symbol.
"To reattach the finger, we fixed the bone, re-attached the tendons so that it can move again, and joined up the nerves to give it feeling. To keep the finger alive, we joined up the blood vessels.
''Now because of their size, this was done under the microscope using sutures that are finer than most people's hair. And because the finger had been ripped off, large sections of the blood vessels were badly damaged, so we took spare veins from the wrist to bridge these gaps.
''This was a total team effort from our theatre team to the doctors and nurses on the ward and the hand therapists.
''To be able to help make a difference like this is truly one of life's greatest privileges."
Miraculously, Natalie was still able to get married on 15 July 2021 at Fredrick's Hotel Spa, Maidenhead, Berkshire - in front of just 30 guests due to Covid restrictions.
Although her finger was too swollen to fit the engagement ring and marriage band on the big day, Natalie has since had them re-sized and is able to wear them on her reattached finger. And not only is the new bride able to move her new finger, but she's even shocked medics by having feeling return to it.
Natalie said: "It was horrendous, but I feel so lucky and grateful that Dr Chan and his team didn't give up on me and managed to successfully reattach my finger.
"To lose my ring finger before my wedding was so symbolic, and when I was finally able to get married it was really emotional because everyone knew what I'd been through.
"I was so worried that it would look ugly on my wedding day, but it was nowhere near as bad as I'd feared.
"It was very painful and swollen for a while, but now you can hardly tell that anything happened."