Born in Manisa, Turkey, Melih Serter started his own business, which he had dreamed of since childhood, after finishing mechanical engineering. Serter, who is 30 years old, has been manufacturing machines since 2009. One day, he goes to check and maintain one of the machines he made on the call of his client in Adana Osmaniye. The accident that will change his life also occurs here.
With Melih Serter’s own narration;
After a call from my client in the Osmaniye province of Adana, I went to check and general maintenance of the machine I sold earlier. When I arrived, I removed the security apparatus. For control purposes, I basically put my finger where I was supposed to put it, because I had to adjust the machine, and that was the only way. The machine had 2 shafts with a diameter of 30 mm; they completely compressed my thumb and pinky finger. Both of my fingers were ground like mince. There was no flesh or bone integrity left. We immediately went to the nearest hospital with my severed fingers. Unfortunately, they reported that I lost my fingers because the tissue, veins and bones were completely damaged.They couldn’t be stitched back together. My whole world came crashing around me. How could this have happened to me?
Immediately, I started seeing some plastic surgeons. All the surgeons in Manisa told me that one of my toes could be removed and stitched into my thumb, but there was an 80% risk that the operation would fail, and I could lose my toe as well. The success rate of these operations was almost less than 20%, and according to this statistic, I could not risk the operation. All my hopes were exhausted, and a difficult process awaited me in both my professional and personal life.
Coincidentally, my sister Asli Serter was working as a radiologist at Bezmialem University Hospital and contacted a professor doctor named Mehmet Veli Karaaltın. Professor Mehmet told me: “I did not see the conditions of the wounds in a very good state. If they need to be closed, we’ll close them best, but if a toe transplant can be done, I’ll do it.” I couldn’t believe my ears. I can’t express my feelings, my happiness right now. At that moment, I realized how precious hope is to people.
My operation was very successful, and the finger next to the big toe was removed and stitched into my right thumb. Professor Mehmet said I would do it, and he managed the operation. He said to me,” don’t let go after surgery, this finger won’t move, but you’ll be able to move with physical therapy.”
I did exactly what he said. After a long and difficult physical therapy process, I can move my finger perfectly. At the moment, I’ve achieved the success I want in my profession. Before the accident, I had 8 machines that were my own invention, and now this number has increased to 14.
There’s no problem with my hand right now. I can do everything as I did before, it’s just that my writing was already so bad before and it’s worse now, but it doesn’t matter after all.
Professor Mehmet is a very successful doctor, thank you very much. If I hadn’t crossed paths with him, my hand would never have recovered. He changed my life. As well as being a doctor, he’s a very kind and wonderful person. I will always be grateful to him. He’s the biggest chance I’ve ever had in my life. Thank you so much to him and his great team.