A girl's finger has been successfully sewn back after it was severed in a freak accident.

Isy Hinchliffe, 13, was cycling in Beaconsfield Villas, Brighton, when the little finger of her right hand tangled with the wing mirror of a passing car.

Isy was thrown to the ground and felt pain in her hand.

She saw the horrific injury and then looked and spotted her finger lying in the road.

Isy was crying when a man retrieved the finger and told her: "Here's the little devil."

A man dashed from a nearby house with a packet of frozen peas and placed the finger inside.

Isy, of Evelyn Terrace, Brighton, was taken by ambulance to the Royal Sussex County Hospital and later transferred to the Queen Victoria Hospital, East Grinstead, where she underwent an eight-hour operation.

Surgeons took a tiny piece of bone from her elbow to fill a gap where the finger had been torn.

The accident happened last Friday afternoon and by 6am the next day her finger was back on and looking "pinky".

Surgeons, who worked through the night, told Isy her hand could be back to normal by Christmas.

Consultant plastic surgeon TC Teo carried out the pioneering micro-surgery.

He said: "We are using more powerful microscopes and finer instruments."

Isy, whose full name is Isabel, hopes to be discharged and back home with her family on Friday.

Her teacher mother Tilly Baker was upset when she heard about the accident.

But she said: "We want to tell the driver we don't blame anyone."

Yesterday, Isy's hospital room was festooned with chocolates and cards from friends and relatives, including her stepfather Colin Baker and her father Alan Hinchliffe.

She has been spoilt by her brother Sam, 17, stepbrother Joe, 20, and stepsister Grace, 18.

Isy said she could not wait to get back to her favourite pastime, football. She plays for Dorothy Stringer School, where she studies, and wants to become a professional player when she's older.

Meanwhile, she insisted on thanking through The Argus everyone who helped save her finger - the hospital, nurses, surgeons, David Cuff, who picked up her finger, family friend Roz Shipway who travelled with her to the county hospital, her friend AJ Evans who telephoned for an ambulance, another friend Alex, her school friends and headteacher Trevor Allen.

She said: "And don't forget the man with the frozen peas.

"I'll write to everyone but it'll have to wait until my finger's better."

Hospital spokeswoman Cathy Buss said: "We are really pleased all is going well for Isy but there is a piece of advice we would like to offer anyone unfortunate enough to find themselves in similar circumstances.

"Do put the finger or limb in ice but wrap it first in bandages if possible to avoid a complete freeze which could damage tissue."