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19th Jul 2017

This child’s double hand transplant has been deemed a success

He was the first ever child to have the procedure.

Jade Hayden

Zion Harvey

The first ever double hand transplant carried out on a child has been deemed a success two years on.

Zion Harvey was only eight years old when he received two new hands after an 11-hour surgery in 2015. The US boy contracted sepsis when he was two years old and had to have his hands and feet amputated.

Now, a new report has said that his double transplant was a success and that Zion has “exceeded his previous adaptive abilities.”

“As of 18 months after transplantation surgery he is able to write and feed, toilet and dress himself more independently and efficiently than he could do before transplantation.”

Zion Harvey

The report detailed that Zion’s body did not reject the new hands, and that his brain rewired to accept the new additions to his body.

Zion, now ten, is an avid sports fan and is reportedly now able to swing a baseball bat with ease.

Dr Sandra Amaral, one of the doctors treating Zion in the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, told the BBC that Zion’s progress has been “amazing.”

“He is able to swing a bat with much more co-ordination, and he can write his name quite clearly.”

Dr Amaral also said that he could “pat his mother’s cheek and feel it.”

Zion Harvey

The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia released a video of Zion last year documenting his progress just one year after the surgery.

In it, he can be seen baking, playing with toys, and picking up food with his new hands.

Images via Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia/YouTube.