World’s First Double Hand Transplantation for a Child!

May 30, 2018  Source: Ddu 150

The world’s first child to have a double hand transplantation is independently able to write, feed and dress himself.

During infancy, Zion Harvey lost his hands and feet due to a sepsis infection, which ultimately caused multiple organ failures. At the age of 8, both his hands were successfully transplanted by four medical teams in a cutting-edge medical procedure which took around 11 hours in July 2015. Zion was treated at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and his doctor, Sandra Amaral, reported that his hand functioning is improving day by day.

Dr Sandra Amaral said, “Our study shows that hand transplant surgery is possible when carefully managed and supported by a team of surgeons, transplant specialists, occupational therapists, rehabilitation teams, social workers and psychologists; while functional outcomes are positive and the boy is benefitting from his transplant, this surgery has been very demanding for this child and his family.”

During the first year after the transplant, Zion’s new hands were rejected around eight times by his body. But doctors were able to successfully reverse this using immunosuppression drugs. Zion had already been consuming these drugs since he had a kidney transplant at the age of 4.  As progress is being made and Zion becomes accustomed to his new freedom, there are high hopes for the reduction of these drugs and a bright future for this miraculous boy.

By Ddu