An amputee dad has told of his of first “strange” hug with his daughters after double hand transplants – which he’s now had tattooed to match the rest of his arms.
Jamie Mines, 39, was thrown 13ft from a half-finished metal roof when 33,000 volts of electricity surged through a tin sheet he was holding, in 2016.
The scaffolder spent ten weeks in intensive care supported by twin daughters Savannah and Isabella, who were five-months-old at the time.
Jamie lost all of his limbs – but six years on received a double hand transplant and hugged his little girls for the first time.
He’s now also had the hands tattooed so they match the rest of his already-inked arms.
Jamie from Frome, Somerset said: “Holding their hands and taking them to school it is lovely – there are so many things I can do with them now.
“It is weird for them. They were five-months-old when I lost my limbs and they have always known me without.
“Now they don’t really think about it. They found it strange at first as I have never had hands before.
“It’s beautiful. It should have always been like that.
“I never thought I would be able to do it again – it’s very special.”
Jamie’s life changed in December 2016, while working for Boundary Scaffolding.
He was thrown 13ft from a half-finished metal roof when 33,000 volts of electricity surged through a tin sheet he was holding.
The talented footballer of 17 years spent ten weeks in intensive care with some of that time spent in an induced coma.
The 39-year-old father of twin girls had his right leg, left leg, and both hands amputated as a result of his injuries.
Jamie was fitted with prosthetics and was able to cook, clean and drive.
But in March 2022 he had a double hand transplant and is on the “long road” to recovery.
Jamie said: “It was a long process both physical and psychological.
“Not a lot of people could handle it – it wasn’t an easy process.
“I had to drive to Leeds 13 times to get a blood portfolio as they needed to match the donor with my blood.”
The operation took 13 hours and involved 30 people.
Jamie said: “I went from going to sleep with no hands to having hands.
“I have started a new journey. I couldn’t move them at first.
“I thought I had figured out life but then at 33 I had to learn everything again.
“It has been a massive challenge.
“I am back at the gym, playing golf, and driving again.
“It has really improved my self-esteem.”
Jamie is now a year into his recovery but it will take him three to four years to get to fully recover.
He said: “I’m a year into recovery.
“It has been challenging for me.”
The dad-of-two does physiotherapy every day, where he does exercises to keep his hands moving and to make them flexible.
Jamie said the first time he was able to hold his daughters, Isabella and Savannah, both six, was a “lovely” moment.
He said: “It was lovely as you can imagine, being able to hold their hands again. I love it.
“I never thought I would be able to hold them myself again.”
In October 2022, a few months after his transplant, Jamie got his hands tattooed to make them feel more his as he has a number of tattoos across his body.
Jamie had to ask permission from specialists in case the tattoo would damage the skin or risk infection.
He said: “I had to ask permission from the surgeon, and he said ‘go on have a small one’ but they are both the size of my hand.
“They have healed nicely. I wanted my hands to match my arms.”
In October 2017 his former firm, Boundary Scaffolding Ltd, was fined £80,000 and its director Jonathan Griffiths-Clack was handed a six-month sentence, suspended for 12 months.
Jamie said: “This result means me and my family can move on with our lives.
“It’s been astonishing how quickly this has happened but it’s such a relief to have this kind of support.
“I’ve got my sights set on being a Paralympic athlete.
“I’m still young and used to play semi-pro football, and I’ve never stopped wanting to get back on the pitch.
“That kind of ambition can cost money as well as time.”