Dolly Parton isn’t shy about the fact that she’s altered her appearance by going under the knife now and then. The country music icon is known for saying “it costs a lot of money to look this cheap,” after all. But it turns out that one of her earliest surgical procedures wasn’t actually done by a doctor — instead, it was the work of her mom’s trusty sewing kit.
While speaking with Dr. Oz on his talk show in 2017, Parton casually told the shocking story of how she nearly lost a few of her toes when she was around six or seven years old. According to her, “I had jumped across the fence onto a broken Mason jar and cut three of my toes, just my little toes on my right foot, almost off, and they were just kind of hanging there.” Um, yikes! It’s no surprise that Parton got into some mischief as a child, but you can’t help but wince thinking about the poor young girl dealing with that painful injury.
As her fans know, Parton grew up without much money, so her family found scrappy ways to keep each other happy and healthy. That’s exactly what her mom did when she saw the unfortunate state of Parton’s toes — she reached for her own thread and needle to stitch them right back on.
“Mama, she put cornmeal — now, you’re a doctor, you might know — I think the cornmeal was to absorb the blood,” she explained to Dr. Oz. “They put kerosene on it for antiseptic, and mama took her sewing needles and she literally had to sew my toes back on. They work and they healed and I’m still walking on them.”
We’ve heard some pretty wild stories about Parton’s life before, like the time she found a baby named Jolene on her front doorstep, but this one just might take the cake. Still, you’ve got to be impressed by how fast Mama Parton worked to save her kiddo’s toes! And we're so glad she did: It’s hard to imagine the queen of country music waltzing around on stage without her high heels sparkling with every step.