Boy Whose Hands Were Amputated Gets New Ones In History-Making Surgery

In news sure to make you smile, a little boy is now the happy owner of a pair of hands after losing his own to a terrible infection as a toddler. This is an amazing story all on its own but what makes it so newsworthy is the fact that he is the first child in the world to receive a bilateral hand transplant. The best part is what this sweet boy says he wants to do now that he has hands for the first time since the age of 2.


Zion Harvey, 8, lost his hands and feet to an infection as a toddler. He eventually received prosthetic feet and has learned to live his life without hands, but now, he will be able to do what he's always dreamed of -- play on the monkey bars, like any other child his age. Check out his story in this video.


What an amazing little guy with an incredibly mature outlook on life. "When I get these hands, I will be proud of what hands I get," he goes on to say, "And if it gets messed up, I don't care because I have my family." Wow. There are grown adults who don't have that kind of perspective. We can only imagine the amount of growing up he's had to do since he lost his hands and feet, learning so many harsh realities at a time when he should have been simply enjoying his childhood. We are so thrilled to see what medical technology was able to do for Zion. Like any other kid, he deserves to have fun and to be unencumbered by the difficulties of life as an amputee. 

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Of course, this is only the beginning of Zion's road to having hands he can use. He unveiled them yesterday during a press conference at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, where he will spend the next few weeks undergoing therapy to learn to use his new hands. We wish him all the luck in his ongoing treatment and hope that he's swinging from those monkey bars very soon!

At the same time, our hearts are heavy for the parents of the child whose hands Zion received. Of course, that child passed away and his parents made the beyond-selfless choice to donate his hands (and possibly other organs) so another child could have a chance at a better life. Making that decision while reeling from their own tragedy must have been incredibly difficult and heartbreaking. Zion's family must have boundless gratitude to them for their gift. It probably also helps the deceased child's family to know that part of them will live on in another child, helping to make their life better.


 Image via The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia / YouTube

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