Plano Teen Overcomes Loss of Hand

A freak ATV accident while on vacation caused him to lose his left hand, but his determination prepares him for a second chance

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A Plano teenager is proof that while overcoming adversity is difficult, it’s not impossible.

When 17-year-old Mario Frias hopped behind the driver's seat of an ATV while vacationing in Mexico last Christmas.

Never did he expect what happened next.

"I took a hard turn and I felt it flipping. My first thing was it taking my hand," said Frias.

"I knew right away that it was gone."

Doctors had no choice but to eventually amputate his left hand.

His mom said in Spanish how devastated she was over what it meant for her son, while the weight of his new reality hit Frias the hardest on the soccer field, where he was once the high school goalie.

"I got emotional because I'll never be a goalkeeper like I was. So yeah, a little sad emotional, like I cried for like the whole night," said Frias.

The pain quickly transformed into determination.

One of his first hurdles was overcoming phantom pains.

"Phantom pain is something very common that happens to patients who have had a loss of an extremity," Children’s Health occupational therapist Sarah Garza said. "What had happened in Mario's particular case is he felt that his hand was still in a fisted type position after his injury. That sensation did not go away."

Garza used mirror therapy to trick Frias' brain into releasing the tension he felt where his left hand used to be.

And after a few sessions, it worked.

Now, Frias is working towards the next major milestone, which is getting a prosthetic hand.

"We're working on trying to get his muscles strong so that they can eventually operate the prostheses," said Garza.

"I'm just excited for anything, to be honest, Just to have another hand," said Frias.

He’s confident he’ll get his new hand soon and he hopes he can continue to inspire anyone who may need even just a glimmer of hope.

"This the speed bump, like it's an accident, but things happen for a reason. So I just hope for the best," said Frias.

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