A Year After Double Hand Transplant, This Boy Is Thriving
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Just over a year ago, Zion Harvey had no hands. Today, the nine-year-old is packing his own lunch and playing baseball.
At age 2, Zion contracted a near-fatal sepsis infection that led to multi-organ systems failure and the amputation of both his hands and feet. Since then, the inspiring little boy has been no stranger to the OR.
At age 4, he received a kidney transplant from his mom, Pattie Ray. Then 13 months ago, Zion became the first child to receive a double hand transplant—a surgery that lasted more than 10 hours and took a 40-member team at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, according to People.
Zion has spent many months in occupational therapy, learning to use his new hands. As one of his doctors explained to CNN, Zion's brain had to be re-taught how to "fire those muscles again."
Despite all the hardships he has faced, Zion is thriving. Earlier this month he threw out the first pitch at a Baltimore Orioles game. But what he likes most about his new hands: "Just being able to wrap them around my mom," Zion told Savannah Guthrie in a heartwarming interview on Today.
Pattie Ray feels equally grateful for the normalcy that's been restored to their lives. When Zion told Guthrie that his mom filmed him playing baseball, he added that her video didn't come out so great: "She was mostly jumping up and down while she was taking the video, screaming."
We don't blame her one bit.