PARENTS

Zion Harvey, The First Child To Receive A Double Hand Transplant, Can Now Write One Year On

'The only thing that’s different is instead of no hands, I have two hands.'

24/08/2016 16:47

A nine-year-old boy who was the first child in the world to receive a double hand transplant in July 2015 can now write, one year on.

Zion Harvey lost his hands and feet due to a life-threatening infection when he was just two years old.

Since the surgery, he has undergone rehabilitation to gradually improve the functions of his hands.  

In a video released by The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), who completed the transplant in 2015, Zion said: “The only thing that’s different is instead of no hands, I have two hands.

“And everything else is the same. My friends haven’t treated me any different. I’m still the same kid everyone knew.”

CHOP
Zion Harvey, now nine. 

In July 2015, it took a team of doctors from three different hospitals more than 10 hours to attach a pair of donor hands to Zion’s arms.

Doctors now helping Zion with his rehab said he is able to write in his journal, make himself lunch and even throw a baseball. 

“My mum said you have to learn to do it by yourself before you ask someone to do it,” Zion said on the video. “She’s the best mum I’ve ever had.”

His mum, Pattie Ray, added: “He’s become an independent person who doesn’t need me around all the time! It’s bittersweet but I’m happy for him.”

Appearing on TODAY to talk about the past year, Zion said his favourite thing about having hands is “being able to wrap them around [my] mum”.

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