Tuesday, June 11, 2024

Thumbs Up!

 Annie Oeth authored the following press release for UMMC. 

Kobe Abron grasps a Spider-Man figurine with his right hand, holding it firmly between his newly created thumb and fingers as his grandmother cheers – a normal function for most toddlers but elusive for Kobe until recently. 

The 2-year-old has a right thumb thanks to surgery and care from Dr. Marc E. Walker, the board-certified hand surgeon and plastic surgeon leading the Jabaley-Songcharoen Center for Hand, Upper Extremity and Nerve Surgery at the University of Mississippi Medical Center. 

Born without a thumb on his right hand, a condition called thumb aplasia, Kobe was referred to Walker by his pediatrician after he learned of the center’s pediatric congenital hand clinic at Children's of Mississippi. 

Though a thumb is a small appendage, not having one makes a big difference in ability. 

“The thumb accounts for 40% of hand function, according to the American Medical Association Impairment Guide, so the absence of a thumb is quite devastating for physical ability,” Walker said. 

Kobe first visited the center as a 5-month-old, said his grandmother, Stacey Hughes of Jackson. “As the months progressed, and after we discussed it as a family, we decided Kobe should have the operation.” 

Walker, the Songcharoen Endowed Chair of Plastic and Reconstructive Hand Surgery, associate professor of plastic surgery and orthopaedic surgery, and founding director of the Jabaley-Songcharoen Hand Center, performed a complex hand reconstruction procedure called index pollicization, that converted Kobe’s native index finger into a functional thumb. 


“The procedure itself, piece by piece, consists of about eight to 10 different sub-procedures that ultimately result in a repurposed index finger that acts and looks like a thumb, allowing for improved grip, grasp, pinch and opposition,” he said. 

Kobe’s visits to the hand surgery clinic are a joy for Walker and the center’s team. 

“Kobe is the sweetest and most joyful young man,” Walker said. “From our first encounter, he greeted me with an enthusiastic ‘Hi!', which is a markedly different greeting from most children at the doctor's office. I've never seen a child so happy with the cast saw, but the moment we removed his cast and he saw his hand, his exclamation of ‘A thumb!’ was so fulfilling in every way. We are very happy for Kobe.” 

Hughes said Kobe’s medical journey has been smooth. “Everything has flowed easily and has been cohesive. There was no time when we couldn’t communicate with the center and Dr. Walker. He’s an excellent doctor, and every step along the way was well explained.” 

After the four-hour surgery, Kobe wore a red superhero cast for about three weeks and then a splint for a month. He’s now strengthening his right hand with physical therapy. 

“At his age, the plasticity of his brain is such that he should be able to learn how to use the index finger as a thumb with significant improvement in overall hand function,” Walker said. “Before, he was unable to grasp a crayon or a ball. It’s a whole new exciting world out there for Kobe now.” 

Surgeries such as Kobe’s are possible thanks to the Jabaley-Songcharoen Center for Hand, Upper Extremity and Nerve Surgery, which was created through a $5 million gift to UMMC from Drs. Suthin and Somprasong Songcharoen. 

“The founding of the Jabaley-Songcharoen Hand Center has allowed us to expand our ability to reach children whose parents may otherwise never have known that advanced hand reconstruction was available to them in Mississippi,” Walker said. “Through continued outreach, educational activities and marketing for both patients and providers in the community, we hope to continue to deliver the highest level of care to Mississippi children and those around the country and beyond.”  


Anonymous said...

What a blessing for a precious little guy!

Anonymous said...

That is absolutely amazing and very, very, cool. Way to go, Science!

Wow said...

Really cool. The entire clinical team. The surgeon. Then the physical therapists. Then the Occupational Therapists and developmental specialists.

Sheila Jones said...

It’s amazing what surgeons can do these days. So happy for that little guy!

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Trollfest '09

Trollfest '07 was such a success that Jackson Jambalaya will once again host Trollfest '09. Catch this great event which will leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Othor Cain and his band, The Black Power Structure headline the night while Sonjay Poontang returns for an encore performance. Former Frank Melton bodyguard Marcus Wright makes his premier appearance at Trollfest singing "I'm a Sweet Transvestite" from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." Kamikaze will sing his new hit, “How I sold out to da Man.” Robbie Bell again performs: “Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be Bells” and “Any friend of Ed Peters is a friend of mine”. After the show, Ms. Bell will autograph copies of her mug shot photos. In a salute to “Dancing with the Stars”, Ms. Bell and Hinds County District Attorney Robert Smith will dance the Wango Tango.

Wrestling returns, except this time it will be a Battle Royal with Othor Cain, Ben Allen, Kim Wade, Haley Fisackerly, Alan Lange, and “Big Cat” Donna Ladd all in the ring at the same time. The Battle Royal will be in a steel cage, no time limit, no referee, and the losers must leave town. Marshand Crisler will be the honorary referee (as it gives him a title without actually having to do anything).

Meet KIM Waaaaaade at the Entergy Tent. For five pesos, Kim will sell you a chance to win a deed to a crack house on Ridgeway Street stuffed in the Howard Industries pinata. Don't worry if the pinata is beaten to shreds, as Mr. Wade has Jose, Emmanuel, and Carlos, all illegal immigrants, available as replacements for the it. Upon leaving the Entergy tent, fig leaves will be available in case Entergy literally takes everything you have as part of its Trollfest ticket price adjustment charge.

Donna Ladd of The Jackson Free Press will give several classes on learning how to write. Smearing, writing without factchecking, and reporting only one side of a story will be covered. A donation to pay their taxes will be accepted and she will be signing copies of their former federal tax liens. Ms. Ladd will give a dramatic reading of her two award-winning essays (They received The Jackson Free Press "Best Of" awards.) "Why everything is always about me" and "Why I cover murders better than anyone else in Jackson".

In the spirit of helping those who are less fortunate, Trollfest '09 adopts a cause for which a portion of the proceeds and donations will be donated: Keeping Frank Melton in his home. The “Keep Frank Melton From Being Homeless” booth will sell chances for five dollars to pin the tail on the jackass. John Reeves has graciously volunteered to be the jackass for this honorable excursion into saving Frank's ass. What's an ass between two friends after all? If Mr. Reeves is unable to um, perform, Speaker Billy McCoy has also volunteered as when the word “jackass” was mentioned he immediately ran as fast as he could to sign up.

In order to help clean up the legal profession, Adam Kilgore of the Mississippi Bar will be giving away free, round-trip plane tickets to the North Pole where they keep their bar complaint forms (which are NOT available online). If you don't want to go to the North Pole, you can enjoy Brant Brantley's (of the Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance) free guided tours of the quicksand field over by High Street where all complaints against judges disappear. If for some reason you are unable to control yourself, never fear; Judge Houston Patton will operate his jail where no lawyers are needed or allowed as you just sit there for minutes... hours.... months...years until he decides he is tired of you sitting in his jail. Do not think Judge Patton is a bad judge however as he plans to serve free Mad Dog 20/20 to all inmates.

Trollfest '09 is a pet-friendly event as well. Feel free to bring your dog with you and do not worry if your pet gets hungry, as employees of the Jackson Zoo will be on hand to provide some of their animals as food when it gets to be feeding time for your little loved one.

Relax at the Fox News Tent. Since there are only three blonde reporters in Jackson (being blonde is a requirement for working at Fox News), Megan and Kathryn from WAPT and Wendy from WLBT will be on loan to Fox. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both and a torn-up Obama yard sign will entitle you to free drinks served by Megan, Wendy, and Kathryn. Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required. Just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '09 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

Note: Security provided by INS.

Trollfest '07

Jackson Jambalaya is the home of Trollfest '07. Catch this great event which promises to leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Sonjay Poontang and his band headline the night with a special steel cage, no time limit "loser must leave town" bout between Alan Lange and "Big Cat"Donna Ladd following afterwards. Kamikaze will perform his new song F*** Bush, he's still a _____. Did I mention there was no referee? Dr. Heddy Matthias and Lori Gregory will face off in the undercard dueling with dangling participles and other um, devices. Robbie Bell will perform Her two latest songs: My Best Friends are in the Media and Mama's, Don't Let Your Babies Grow up to be George Bell. Sid Salter of The Clarion-Ledger will host "Pin the Tail on the Trial Lawyer", sponsored by State Farm.

There will be a hugging booth where in exchange for your young son, Frank Melton will give you a loooong hug. Trollfest will have a dunking booth where Muhammed the terrorist will curse you to Allah as you try to hit a target that will drop him into a vat of pig grease. However, in the true spirit of Separate But Equal, Don Imus and someone from NE Jackson will also sit in the dunking booth for an equal amount of time. Tom Head will give a reading for two hours on why he can't figure out who the hell he is. Cliff Cargill will give lessons with his .80 caliber desert eagle, using Frank Melton photos as targets. Tackleberry will be on hand for an autograph session. KIM Waaaaaade will be passing out free titles and deeds to crackhouses formerly owned by The Wood Street Players.

If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

Note: Security provided by INS