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Guiseley finger-op biker vows to get back on the racetrack
A man who has undergone remarkable surgery after losing three fingers in a motorbike crash is hoping to race again Jonas Barber lost three fingers in a race in Lincolnshire in 2011. But he has been given back his grip in an operation in which two of his toes were removed and re-attached to his hand.
The 12-hour operation, carried out last March, has allowed him to carry out everyday tasks such as holding a phone or a plate, or opening a jar.
But, undeterred by the crash, Jonas, 31, is looking forward to getting back to racing.
The father of three young girls, from Guiseley, is hoping that a further operation this year to remove excess skin and release tendons, will help him on the way to competing again.
Jonas, who runs his own business, Auto Teknik, underwent surgery at the Spire Hospital in Roundhay, Leeds. The operation was carried out by Professor Simon Kay, who went on to perform the UK’s first hand transplant in December.
Jonas was first told about the possibility of a transplant soon after the accident.
“To start with you think ‘is it something you want?’,” he said. “But in life terms I am not even halfway through. I want to get back to riding motorbikes properly so anything that can be an improvement is worth doing in my view.
“Even if it had made a difference of ten per cent it would have been worth it – but it has made a lot more than that.”
It took him six to eight weeks before he was mobile and on his feet properly again, and he still suffers some pain in one foot, but he has no doubt that it was well worth having the operation.
“It does take a bit of getting used to, visually and mentally,” he said. “But it has made a big difference, so I am happy with it.”
Jonas, who first got a bike when he was 13, has had a conversion on his latest bike so that he can ride it – and now he wants to get back to racing again.
Meanwhile he says his family have taken his new fingers in their stride.
“It is not a talking point at all really – it is just the norm now,” he said.