Finn Harps footballer Kevin McHugh severs finger
Former Derry City striker Kevin McHugh's season looks to be over after a freak accident caused him to lose his finger.
The Finn Harps captain was hosting a coaching session in County Donegal when his wedding ring got caught in a fence.
The 36-year-old immediately drove himself to Letterkenny University Hospital to try to save the finger.
He was then taken by ambulance to Galway University Hospital to undergo surgery on Thursday morning.
He tweeted on Thursday night saying "Op over. Unfortunately finger to badly damaged to repair properly."
The footballer's sense of humour is fully intact though as he added "Thanks for all ur messages, cant reply to all. Esp with 1 hand!".
Mr McHugh, who once had a trial with Aston Villa, said he had been chasing after a stray football when the accident happened.
Earlier he tweeted a graphic picture of his injury with the caption: "Think that's my season over."
Consultant plastic surgeon Alastair Brown - who is based at the Ulster Hospital in Dundonald - said the success of such operations can vary.
"It depends on the extent of the injury, how much of the finger is lost, the age of the patient, their job and whether or not it is on the dominant hand," said Dr Brown.
"If it's badly crushed or completely ripped off, it can be difficult to operate on, so we need to evaluate whether or not it makes sense to try and salvage it.
"If the nerves are very badly damaged, it may actually be more of a hindrance than a help to replace a finger that can't be used.
"But we will almost always try to salvage a thumb because it's so integral to the function of the hand."
Dr Brown said rehabilitation after "de-gloving" injuries can take months.
"With the advanced micro-surgical techniques that we have at the Ulster, the outlook is much better than it was years ago," he said.
"But again, the recovery depends on the severity of the injury, how healthy and fit the patient is and how soon he or she gets to hospital.
"It can take a long time for the hand to become fully functioning again and of course some nerve damage can be permanent."
What do you do if your finger is severed?
- Wrap the amputated finger in a damp cloth, put it into a clean, sealed bag and place on ice.
- Get to hospital as quickly as possible
- IF you work with heavy machinery or are involved in sporting activities remove jewellery, particularly rings