Monday, August 29, 2011

MEET 'TWENTY-FOUR' THE CUBAN WITH FOUR EXTRA FINGERS AND TOES

   Yoandri Hernandez Garrido's nickname comes from the six perfectly formed fingers on each of his hands and the six impeccable toes on each foot.Hernandez is proud of his extra digits and calls them a blessing, saying they set him apart and enable him to make a living by scrambling up palm trees to cut coconuts and posing for photographs in this eastern Cuban city popular with tourists.
Extra digits: Yoandri Hernandez Garrido, 37, known as 'Twenty-Four' shows his 12 fingers in Baracoa, Guantanamo province, Cuba
Extra digits: Yoandri Hernandez Garrido, 37, known as 'Twenty-Four' shows his 12 fingers in Baracoa, Guantanamo province, Cuba

One traveller paid $10 for a picture with him, Hernandez said, a bonanza in a country with an average salary of just $20 a month.
'It's thanks to my 24 digits that I'm able to make a living, because I have no fixed job,' Hernandez said.

 Known as polydactyly, Hernandez's condition is relatively common, but it's rare for the extra digits to be so perfect.
 Anyone who glanced quickly at his hands would be hard-pressed to notice anything different unless they paused and started counting.
 Hernandez said that as a boy he was visited by a prominent Cuban orthopaedist who is also one of Fidel Castro's doctors, and he declared that in all his years of travel he had never seen such a case of well-formed polydactyly.
 'He was very impressed when he saw my fingers,' said Hernandez, who is the only one in his family to be born with extra digits.
In a part of the world where people's physical traits are often the basis for nicknames - even unflattering ones like 'fatty' or 'shorty' - 'veinticuatro' ('twenty-four' in English) is not an insult but rather a term of endearment, and Hernandez, now 37, said his uniqueness has made him a popular guy.
  He has a 10-year-old son with a woman who now lives in Havana, and his current girlfriend is expecting his second child.
'Since I was young, I understood that it was a privilege to have 24 digits. Nobody has ever discriminated against me for that,' he said.   'On the contrary, people admire me and I am very proud. I have a million friends, I live well.'

1 comment:

  1. He has SIX fingers on each hand??? Or six digits, or five fingers and one thumb? Oh shit I don't know (MUCH) :-)

    ReplyDelete

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