FERGUS FALLS, Minn. – An 8-year-old champion dirt-bike racer severed four fingers during a tug-of-war game at a charity benefit and is recovering from surgery to reconstruct her lost digits.
Alyssa Martin was at the I-94 BMX track in Fergus Falls on June 20 for a fundraiser for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Her father, Cameron Martin, is the track's director.
During an intermission, Alyssa Martin was participating in a kids' tug-of-war game. Her left hand apparently got caught in the rope, and the four fingers were severed.
Alyssa has had operations to reconstruct her fingers. Probes in her fingertips are being used to track temperature changes in the damaged limbs.
Cameron Martin said that his daughter, who is right-handed, was moved from intensive care to a pediatric ward Thursday and that she's feeling much better.
"Even though she's going through the pain, as a parent it's almost harder to see her have to go through this. It's really tough," Cameron Martin said.
Brent Schiefert, a family friend, said doctors are optimistic that Alyssa will get a full range of motion back in her fingers but won't know for sure for another six weeks.
The Martins are BMX racers, and Alyssa is ranked eighth in the nation for her age division. Cameron Martin said her goal is to be back racing within two years.
"After they start with the rehab, I don't think it will take that long for her," Cameron Martin said. "The strength and outlook she has is unbelievable for an 8-year-old, and we knew she'd be the same fun, incredible girl no matter what happened."