Gifted Hands: Eight-Year-Old Boy Becomes First Child To Ever Receive Double-Hand Transplant

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Zion Harvey

"When I get those hands, I will be proud of those hands I get..." - Zion Harvey

In a groundbreaking surgical first, doctors in Philadelphia have transplanted donor hands and forearms onto an 8-year-old boy whose hands were amputated. The 10-hour double-hand transplant was done at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia earlier this month.

After Zion was wheeled out of the operating room, his mother Pattie Ray was overtaken by emotion. "I see my son in the light I haven't seen him in five years," Pattie Ray said. "It was like having a newborn. It was a very joyous moment for me. I was happy for him."

The operation was a worldwide first and completed by a 40-member team led by Dr. L. Scott Levin. After losing his hands and feet to amputation following a bacterial infection at the age of two, Zion has continued to maintain a positive spirit and outlook even before his operation.

"I've never seen a tear, never an untoward face, never a complaint," Levin said of Zion. "He's always positive. And that, in and of itself, is remarkable."

(Source: NBC News)