Los Gatos Girl Shows Off Reattached Hand

Erica Rix took time off second grade to update her progress

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A Los Gatos girl is talking about a freak accident involving a jump rope that ripped off her left hand about a year ago.

    Little Erica Rix and her mom appeared on the "Today" show Tuesday.  Her progress amazed the show's team.  After dozens of surgeries, Erica can move her thumb and bend her wrist.  She still doesn't have full use of her fingers, although she can bend them slightly.

    Freak Accident One Year Later

    [BAY] Freak Accident One Year Later
    Erica Rix appears on the Today Show nearly a year after her hand was severed byt a jump rope. (Published Tuesday, Sep 8, 2009)

    When Matt Lauer asked the blonde cutie what she missed being able to do the most, Erica said hanging on the monkey bars. 

    "I love the monkey bars," Erika said, with a smile.

    Erica is also back in school and said "Hi" to her entire second-grade class.

    About a year ago, Erika was riding down Daves Avenue in the back of her mother's SUV on the way back home from soccer practice.  Erica was dangling a jump rope out of the window when it got tangled in the vehicle's axle.

    The slipknot on the jump rope was wrapped around her wrist and when the rope wrapped around the tire's axle, it tightened around her left hand and ripped it from her wrist.

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    Erica's mother was unaware that her daughter had been playing with the rope out of the car window.

    "She was screaming and screaming so I got out of the car. And out of the window that was cracked, the remaining part of her hand was -- and most of it was gone," Rix said.

    "I said, 'Where's her hand?  Where's her hand?' And a lady said, 'It's here. I'm standing over it and there's a rope attached to it.'"

    Another driver stopped and used his belt to create a tourniquet around Erica's arm. She was rushed to Stanford Hospital where a team of four surgeons spent 10 hours successfully reattaching her hand.

    She has since had several more surgeries at Lucile Packard Children's Hospital, where she has quite a fan club. Her mother says the staff at the hospital knows Erica well and she has become friends with doctors, nurses and surgeons.

    Asked why she was dangling the rope out of the window, Erica said, "I wanted to see it go up and down because I thought it would fly."

    Erica will continue physical and occupational therapy to help gain more function of her hand.