The first child in the world to have received double hand transplant is now able to eat, write and dress. Eighteen months after the operation, doctors said, rejoicing at this “success.”
18 months later, the operation of Zion Harvey, 10 years, is “a success”. The intervention lasted 10 hours mobilized 40 doctors.
The first record of this transplant, which had required in July 2015 forty doctors and a ten-hour intervention in the United States, is published Tuesday in the British medical journal The Lancet. This is a point about the state of Zion Harvey dating back six months ago.
He had eight discharges of his hands
After months of therapy and psychosocial support, the 10-year-old American today has been through tough times during the first 18 months, including aggressive treatments against many transplant rejections and long efforts to help him Learn to use his new hands, write the authors of this medical report.
The boy received eight rejections of the hands, including severe episodes in the fourth and seventh months, all of which were reversed with immunosuppressants.
At the end of this period, however, he was able to write, eat and dress alone.
“Our study shows that double hand transplantation is possible when it is carefully prepared and supported by a team of surgeons, transplant specialists, professional therapists, psychologists and social workers,” says Sandra Amaral of the hospital For children in Philadelphia, in the eastern United States, where the operation took place.
Six months to feel
Amputee of the hands and feet in his infancy after a serious infection, the little Zion had already had to undergo a kidney transplant several years ago and was already taking anti-rejection drugs.
In the days following the double hand transplant, he could move his fingers. Thanks to the regrowth of the nerves, the child could, after six months, contract the muscles of the hands and feel to the touch. Then he was able to feed himself and grab a pen to write.
Eight months later he could use scissors and pencils. One year after the transplant, he was able to grab a two-handed baseball bat.