Boy thrives one year after double hand transplant

Zion Harvey, center, who received a double hand transplant in July 2015, shakes hands with a health care worker as his mother Pattie Ray, left, smiles during a news conference Aug. 23, 2016 at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia in Philadelphia.
Caption
Zion Harvey, center, who received a double hand transplant in July 2015, shakes hands with a health care worker as his mother Pattie Ray, left, smiles during a news conference Aug. 23, 2016 at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia in Philadelphia.

Credit: Dake Kang

Credit: Dake Kang

When Zion Harvey was just 2 years old, he lost both his hands and legs to a deadly infection.

In July 2015, doctors at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia successfully transplanted two new hands to Zion.

>> Child who had double hand transplant throws out MLB first pitch

After a year of grueling physical therapy, he’s now throwing baseballs, writing and playing Jenga.

"I'm very excited because now I can do more than I imagined, like throw a football, play baseball or, I don't know, do a handstand," Zion told NBC News. "So when I got my hands, it's like, here's the piece of my life that was missing. Now it's here. Now my life is complete."

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The recovery process is long, but Zion has regained sensation in his hands, and his brain is re-learning how to use them. He says he couldn’t be more happy with the results.

“Before you quit and say, ‘I give up,’ try everything first,” Zion said.

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