Three-year-old Rasa Prasceviciute lived with her family on a farm in Lithuania. Like most children, she loved playing hide-and-go-seek. One morning, she went to play with her twin sister, Auschra, in the field surrounding the farm. Her father, Vytautas, needed to mow the field that day.
He started the combine harvester and had not gone far when he heard blood-curdling screams. He was met with a horrifying spectacle; his daughter Rasa’s body was drenched in blood and worst of all, her two little feet were completely severed from her legs.
The father rushed her to the nearby hospital in the village but the doctors thought it was hopeless.
Rasa was suffering from extreme blood loss and her life was at risk due to shock. The medical facilities then were not as advanced as today’s, and in a small Soviet village hospital, the option of successfully reattaching her feet was not on the table. Yet, doctors found a way to help. After calling on their colleagues in Moscow, Rasa was airlifted to Russia’s capital city.
More than 14 hours had passed since the accident. When doctors saw her condition, they were ready to throw in the towel. Dr. Ramasi Datiashvili told Georgian Journal: “An emergency plane took Rassa to the airport, but then it turned out that they forgot her sliced-off feet on a kitchen table of her home. They came back for them but discovered that they had no ice, so they wrapped them up together with frozen fish to keep them cold.”
Only Dr. Datiashvili was willing to make the monumental attempt for Rasa. He would attempt to reattach her severed feet.
Not one of his colleagues believed that it could be done, but after nine grueling hours, Dr. Datiashvili succeeded in reattaching both the girl’s feet and re-establishing blood flow.
The surgery was counted as a medical breakthrough and doctors around the world were astounded. It was one of the first successful reattachment surgeries in history.
Dr. Datiashvili supervised Rasa’s recovery, eventually becoming close friends with her family. She regained feeling in her feet and eventually learned to walk again.
Rasa told Georgian Journal how she recalled the surgeon bursting into tears when she took her first steps.