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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.

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