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Doctors Rebuild Fingers Lost by Girl, 8, in Tug-of-War Mishap

An 8-year-old girl from Fergus Falls is recovering from multiple surgeries after she had four fingers severed during a tug-of-war game at a charity benefit.

Alyssa Martin was at the I-94 BMX track in Fergus Falls on June 20 for a "Race for Life" 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 tug-of-war for kids. Her left hand was wrapped around the rope and apparently got caught, severing four fingers.

She was rushed to North Memorial Hospital in the Twin Cities, and since then has had multiple surgeries to reconstruct her fingers. Probes in her fingertips are being used to track temperature changes in the damaged limbs.

Cameron Martin said his daughter, who is right-handed, was moved from intensive care to a pediatric ward on Thursday, and that's 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 full range of motion back in her fingers but won't know for sure for another six weeks until the tissue heals and bones set.

The Martins are a family of active BMX racers, and Alyssa is currently 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."

Last October, two Colorado teens nearly lost their hands in a tug-of-war accident. Click here to read that story.