An amputee has been gifted his severed leg back for Christmas after getting it taxidermied.
Justin Fernandes, 24, lost his right leg after being struck by a motorbike while walking home from work in July.
He then made an unusual request for the bones to be put back together on a dedicated taxidermy page.
The Prehistoria Natural History Centre (PNHC) in Toronto, Canada, responded and gifted him his leg back on December 23 free-of-charge.
Justin told CTV News: "That was the first time I held my entire leg rearticulated – it was unreal. I have to remind myself that, 'Hey, that's your leg, you walked on that'. It's hard.
“This was my closure, basically. This is how I wanted to grieve.
"To me, turning that morbid, sad object that people would just dispose of and forget, I wanted to turn it into art basically, and that's what I see, when I see it, art. I think it's beautiful."
Speaking of his loss, he added: "I had to get a custom waiver to get it released. If you can picture this, I'm just in this hospital, I don't even have a prosthetic leg at this point, I'm just hopping around, I'm stuck in bed and I'm sending 100 emails and dozens of phone calls all over the place."
PNHC Head Director Ben Lovatt told CTV News: "We didn't know him when the incident happened…. but through the process we've gotten to know each other quite well and he's kind of become an adopted member of our family here at the museum.
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"Everyone heals in their own way from a tragic incident and this incident was a hit and run that left him almost bleeding to death at the side of the road. So he was trying to find some way to have closure, some way to kind of feel whole again, and this was a unique way to do so.
"We actually had heard that he had reached out to a taxidermy studio who quoted him $15,000 to do his leg. Now, for a frame of reference what $15,000 should get you in terms of bone preparation, I would charge that much to take an entire dead whale off of a beach, tear it down to bone and mount it up.
"So yeah, it was quite an outrageous request for that much money. So for us it seemed like it was a something we could give back."
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