First Child to Ever Receive Double Hand Transplant Surpasses Goals


The first child in the world to receive a double hand transplant is making major strides, only 18 months after his surgery.

Zion Harvey was just 8-years-old when he received his new hands.

He lost both his hands and legs below the knees after contracting staphylococcal sepsis when he was a toddler.

The infection caused his body to suffer multiple organ failure.

When he was four, his mother Pattie Ray donated a kidney which allowed him to be a candidate for the hand transplants.

Dr. Scott Levin and Dr. Sandra Amaral of Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and their co-authors wrote about Zion's progress and how he's exceeded expectations.

"Hand transplantation in a child can be surgically, medically and functionally successful under carefully considered circumstances." 

His original goals were to climb monkey bars and grip a baseball bat, part of which he accomplished when he threw out the first pitch at an Orioles Game.

He is now able to write, feed and dress himself all on his own.

In a video released by the hospital a year after the transplant, Zion already showed major progress when then he was shown using scissors, grabbing a slice of pizza and playing with toys.

"If any kid is watching this and you're going through a rough time, never give up on what you're doing. You'll get there eventually."


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