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  1. ITV Report

Meet the cobbler who lost his thumb and replaced it with a toe

  • Video report by ITV News Correspondent Martha Fairlie

Cobbler Dave Lee loves his job but a work accident almost meant he had to give it up but radical surgery saved his career.

Dave, who owns a shop in Sutton-in-Ashfield, has won awards due to his work but lost a thumb after his jumper got caught in a machine in January last year.

Surgeons decided the best idea to help Dave in the long term was to attach one of his big toes to replace the missing digit.

"I don't actually call it a digit, I call it a thumb because it would do a disservice to those who did this operation.

"It's not like a thumb but it's as close as you can get; I can write, I can paint again, which is once of my passions, and more importantly I can do my job which I love."

Prior to the accident, Dave had won the bronze award in the 'World Cup of shoe repairs'.

Dave cannot praise the work of medical staff at thr e Royal Derby Hospital enough, as they have ensured he can carry on his life in a normal fashion.

"I've said this before, I want to say 'thank you' but thank you does not seem enough.

"They save lives, they've saved my career and my business, as well.

"For everything they've done for me, thank you does not really cover it."