An aspiring young cricketer has undergone a horrific surgical ordeal.
A Four Corners investigation by the ABC revealed Britney Thomas, a 17-year-old from Gippsland, fractured her thumb playing cricket in Hong Kong.
A surgeon at Latrobe Regional Hospital operated on the thumb, but five days later she was suffering through excruciating pain.
“Literally the worst pain I reckon I’ve ever been through,” Britney said.
When a local GP took off the plaster, Britney and her mother saw the tourniquet cut off blood supply and the skin was dark and dead.
She was then taken back to Latrobe Regional Hospital where they informed her she was going to lose her thumb.
Her thumb was stitched to her groin for six weeks to try “to get the nerves and arteries working once more,” according to the ABC.
But sadly, it didn’t work. Her thumb had to be amputated and replaced with her big toe, and her big toe was replaced with part of her hip bone.
“People ask me, ‘Oh why does your thumb look so weird?'” Britney said.
“And I’m like, ‘Because it’s not my thumb, it’s my toe.”
Tragically, Britney struggles to now play the game she once loved and had to drop out of school because she missed so much.
“It devastates me because I don’t have anything else that I want to do,” she said.
The investigation was highlighting the devastating and systemic failures of Australia’s regional hospital system.
For the full story and images, head over to the ABC website.