Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Aleteia
Tuesday 28 September |
Saint of the Day: St. Wenceslaus

Holding hope in his hands: the miracle of Zion, the world’s youngest double hand transplant patient

Deacon Greg Kandra - published on 07/20/17

This is prettyremarkable: 

In 2015, Zion Harvey became known to the public as the youngest person in the world to go through a successful bilateral hand transplant. Zion, who was 8 at the time, captured hearts with his upbeat attitude toward life and his wise-beyond-his-years expositions — on everything from losing both of his hands to an infection at age 2 to why he wanted to adopt a dog — in a widely shared video by the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. The film documented Zion’s life before the surgery and the complicated, high-risk procedure he underwent to gain a pair of new hands. Two years later, Zion continues to adjust well to his new hands. The boy’s progress was noted in an article published Tuesday in the Lancet Child & Adolescent Health, the first medical journal report about the surgery, which took place in July 2015.The report documented the first 18 months of Zion’s progress and noted that he is now able to write, feed and dress himself independently. Within days of the operation, which took more than 10 hours, Zion was able to move his fingers using ligaments from his residual limbs, according to the report. With “extensive rehabilitation,” Zion tackled one milestone after another. By six months, he could move the newly transplanted muscles in his hands and feel touch; it was around then that he learned to feed himself and hold a pen. By eight months, he could use scissors and crayons. And within a year, he had achieved one of his original goals: gripping and swinging a baseball bat with both hands.

Read on. And check out the video above.

Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read Aleteia.org every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...




Top 10
1
The Sinai Peninsula and the Dead Sea Rift
J-P Mauro
Experts now believe Sodom was destroyed by a meteor
2
VATICAN LEGOS
J-P Mauro
Chicago architect models Vatican City from 67,000 LEGO bricks
3
Giovanna Binci
He’s autistic, she has Down syndrome, and they’re wonderfully hap...
4
Fr. Michael Rennier
The purpose of life according to J.R.R. Tolkien
5
PADRE PIO
Bret Thoman, OFS
Exclusive photos: Meet Padre Pio and the place he lived
6
crisis man
Marzena Devoud
Advice from 3 monks for overcoming acedia
7
Christ and the woman taken in adultery
Daniel Esparza
What Jesus wrote
See More