Boy who lost limbs to infection gets double-hand transplant

By KATHY MATHESON, Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA (AP and WTXF)- Surgeons in Philadelphia say they've performed a double-hand transplant on a boy believed to be the youngest patient to undergo the procedure.

Eight-year-old Zion Harvey received the new limbs earlier this month at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. Doctors publicly discussed the 11-hour operation on Tuesday.

Zion contracted an infection years ago that led to the amputation of his hands and feet. But leg prosthetics have let him become an active child, and he's learned to eat, write and play video games.

Doctors say Zion will spend several weeks in physical rehab before returning home to Baltimore. They say one of his big wishes is to throw a football.

“It feels really cool. I can do this, and this,” Zion said in a press conference. 

The hands came from the Gift of Life Donor Program. Several adults in the U.S. have received double-hand or double-arm transplants in the past few years.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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