They call him ”Twenty-Four.”
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. One traveler paid $US10 ($NZ11.90) for a picture with him, Hernandez said, a bonanza in a country with an average salary of just $US20 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 orthopedist 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.