When doctors sewed James Byrne’s big toe onto his hand, he had no idea that this was the start of a fad that would sweep the world. Within days, the first few copycats followed suit. However, they took the idea one step further, not only having their big toes sewn onto their hands, but also their thumbs attached to the former big toe locations on their feet.
Others became more creative, swapping thumb with pinky, or little toe with big toe. Thousands of people have now followed suit, shifting their digits around their hands and feet in every conceivable combination. A new pinnacle was reached when Emma Forther became the first person to surgically exchange her foot and hand. Within a week, dozens were lining up to switch arms and legs. Meanwhile, trendsetters began moving their facial features around their faces. The nose to the chin, cheek, or forehead; or the ears to one side, like a flounder.
Last Friday, Douglas Miller became the first man to successfully replace his foot with his head. “It hurts like the dickens to walk,” said Miller. “But I’m a firm believer in progress, so it was worth it.”