LOUISVILLE, Ky., Aug. 28 (UPI) — An Oklahoma man has received a double hand transplant in an operation lasting more than 17 hours, hospital officials say.
Richard Edwards, of Edmond, got his new hands at Jewish Hospital Hand Care Center in Louisville, the Courier-Journal reported.
Edwards made his living as a chiropractor before losing both hands when his truck caught fire in 2006; unable to escape, he was severely burned on his face, back, arms and hands.
Surgeons from Kleinert Kutz & Associates and the University of Louisville performed the surgery. It is the nation’s third double hand transplant; the nation’s first five single hand transplants also took place at Jewish Hospital.
Edwards saw his new hands for the first time Friday, exclaiming: “Ooh, awesome. I am a blessed man,” hospital officials said.
The lead surgeon in the case said Edwards is doing better than expected.
Dr. Warren C. Breidenbach of Kleinert Kutz said the hand movements “are already four weeks ahead of our other patients.”
Edwards was able to form a fist with his left hand and can move the wrist and each finger in both hands, the newspaper said.
“Movement is good and better than I anticipated,” Breidenbach said. “We are in good shape, and I don’t see anything to be overly concerned about.”
Hospital officials said Edwards will be monitored closely for infection and any sign his body is rejecting the transplants.
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