While many 8-year-old boys spend their days playing with a football, a basketball, or swinging from the monkey bars, this hasn’t always been the case for Zion Harvey. But earlier this month, he became the first person ever to receive a double hand transplant making his dreams of playing guitar, becoming a doctor, and holding his little sister that much closer.
When Harvey was just 2-years-old he developed a server case of gangrene causing doctors to amputate his hands and feet. Earlier this month, 40 doctors, nurses and staff members worked together for approximately 10 hours during to provide Harvey with two brand new hands.
“I wanna say thank you guys for helping me down this bumpy road,” Zion expressed at a press conference on Tuesday afternoon.
According to a statement from the hospital”
“During the surgery, the hands and forearms from the donor were attached by connecting bone, blood vessels, nerves, muscles, tendons and skin. The surgical team was divided into four, simultaneous operating teams, two focused on the donor limbs, and two focused on the recipient. First, the forearm bones, the radius and ulna, were connected with steel plates and screws. Next, microvascular surgical techniques were used to connect the arteries and veins. Once blood flow was established through the re-connected blood vessels, surgeons individually repaired and rejoined each muscle and tendon. Surgeons then reattached nerves and then closed the surgical sites.”
“I just want to say this, never give up on your dreams. It will come true,” Zion also expressed at the press conference.
Zion still has a ways to go with rehabilitation but with an outlook like his, that should be nothing but a breeze.
“I’m the same person who I still used to be, but with some cool new hands,” he assured. You can watch Zion’s historic and life changing story above.