Thumbs Up For Zion Harvey:Child Receives Bi-lateral Hand Transplant

Zion Harvey is a remarkable eight-year-old little boy. As the first child in the world to undergo a successful bi-lateral hand transplant, the mind-boggling procedure can only be matched by his suffering, courage, maturity and wisdom, which far exceed his years on planet Earth. At the tender age of two, he lost his hands and feet to Mersa, a deadly infection that caused multi-organ faiure, which required a kidney transplant and almost killed him.

 

Zion Harvey: Source: MommyNoireZion Harvey: Source: MommyNoire

 

Revolutionary transplant surgery

The complicated, eleven-hours surgery was performed at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia by a 40-person transplant team of surgeons, nurses and anesthesiologists headed by orthopedic surgeon, Dr. L. Scott Levin. The exact date of the surgery was not released in order to respect the donor's privacy. In Levin's own words: "This is a new arena in reconstruction surgery, in transplant surgery that gives new hope..."

Before perfoming the ground-breaking surgery, Dr. Levin addressed his team in the operating room. He told them: "We can have complications. We can have troubles, but we are not planning on it. We are all here together."

Ramifications of this special surgery

Zion will have to remain on immune-suppressing drugs (which he was already taking because of his kidney) and will have to see doctors all of his life to ensure that his body isn't rejecting the new appendages. These drugs are a double-edged sword, as they aid in reducing the risk of rejection but have been known to increase the risk of infection and in some cases, cause cancer. According to Dr. Levin, this risk pervades any type of transplant surgery. He told USA Today: "Zion will be a patient life-long. When you do this kind of transplant as a surgeon, your patients become members of your family, and I say that with enthusiasm."

Zion Harvey's Legacy

This adorable miracle child  is a shining example of the power of the human spirit. Shortly after the surgery, the little boy from Baltimore, Maryland, spoke of  his painful journey in a YouTube video: "I wasn't always like this. When I was 2, I had to get my hands cut off because I was sick...When I get new hands I will be proud." Hugging hs mother, Pattie Ray, he added: "And if it gets messed up...I don't care because I have my family."

 

Zion's New Hands: Source: PeopleZion's New Hands: Source: People

 

Zion is a determined little boy who continues to improve every day  since his monumental surgery. He has already requested a puppy  to stay with him in his room and the desire to pick up his baby sister. His indomitable mettle is certain to see him through the intense therapy that will be required for him to gain full motion potential which could take up to two years. His captivating personality and personal success serve as inspiration to others and according to Dr.Levin: "Our dreams to help children like Zion are now realties."

Closing thoughts on organ donation:
I used to be against organ donation, but I had a change of heart.~Pinterest.com


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