8 year old Zion becomes youngest double hand transplant success and gains a projected new lease of life
Zion Harvey, who lost his hands to infection, said his new limbs were ‘weird at first, but then good’
Losing all his limbs and surviving with a kidney donation from his mother as a toddler due to a serious sepsis infection; he has become the youngest US patient to receive a double-hand transplant, surgeons said Tuesday.
Zion Harvey’s forearms were heavily bandaged but his hands were visible as he flashed some big smiles Tuesday at a hospital news conference. He demonstrated his still-delicate grip and described waking up with new hands as “weird at first, but then good.”
The boy, from the Baltimore suburb of Owings Mills, Maryland, received the transplant earlier this month at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, though doctors did not publicly disclose the nearly 11-hour operation until this week.
A 40-person medical team used steel plates and screws to attach the old and new bones. Surgeons then painstakingly reconnected Zion’s arteries, veins, muscles, tendons and nerves.