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A dream vacation turned nightmare when Ja’Niya came face to face with a puma. She was visiting Honduras and exploring her hotel’s animal sanctuary. In an attempt to bond with a puma in a cage, Ja’Niya put her hand out. The puma bit her finger and wouldn’t let it go! Part of her finger was dangling from the puma’s mouth. Ja’Niya was treated for her injury while in Honduras, but back home, she wanted to do more to grow her finger back.
Ja’Niya came to regenerative medicine specialist Dr. Akash Bajaj and together they worked to grow her finger back with the use of PRP, platelet-rich plasma. While this approach is commonly used in other body parts to stimulate healing and regrowth, Dr. Bajaj says it was a new approach for finger regrowth.
In PRP, Ja’Niya’s own blood was put into a centrifuge and then the concentrated platelets were reinjected into her fingertip. “Theoretically, you are dropping soldiers of immunity into the affected area to help the body to do what it’s trying to do anyway,” Dr. Bajaj explains. Ja’Niya was experiencing phantom limb pain. The goal was to repair her nerves and accelerate the healing process. Dr. Bajaj says the outcome was fantastic, which is evident by looking at Ja’Niya’s finger!
Plastic surgeon Dr. Andrew Ordon notes that her nail bed matrix was intact, so even though she had no nail, it allowed for the nail to grow back.
ER physician Dr. Travis Stork advises viewers if ever in a situation where your finger is severed, if possible (which it was not in Ja’Niya’s case), take the severed tip to the emergency room because the ideal situation would be to reattach it.