Boy who lost limbs to infection gets double-hand transplant - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Boy who lost limbs to infection gets double-hand transplant

Posted: Updated:
Double-hand transplant recipient eight-year-old Zion Harvey smiles during a news conference Tuesday, July 28, 2015, at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) in Philadelphia. Surgeons said Harvey of Baltimore who lost his limbs to a serious infect Double-hand transplant recipient eight-year-old Zion Harvey smiles during a news conference Tuesday, July 28, 2015, at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) in Philadelphia. Surgeons said Harvey of Baltimore who lost his limbs to a serious infect
Double-hand transplant recipient eight-year-old Zion Harvey arrives to a news conference with his mother Pattie Ray Tuesday, July 28, 2015, at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) in Philadelphia. Surgeons said Harvey of Baltimore who lost his l Double-hand transplant recipient eight-year-old Zion Harvey arrives to a news conference with his mother Pattie Ray Tuesday, July 28, 2015, at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) in Philadelphia. Surgeons said Harvey of Baltimore who lost his l
Double-hand transplant recipient eight-year-old Zion Harvey smiles during a news conference Tuesday, July 28, 2015, at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) in Philadelphia. Surgeons said Harvey of Baltimore who lost his limbs to a serious infect Double-hand transplant recipient eight-year-old Zion Harvey smiles during a news conference Tuesday, July 28, 2015, at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) in Philadelphia. Surgeons said Harvey of Baltimore who lost his limbs to a serious infect
As Dr. L. Scott Levin holds his hand, double-hand transplant recipient eight-year-old Zion Harvey moves his fingers during a news conference Tuesday, July 28, 2015, at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) in Philadelphia. Surgeons said Harvey of As Dr. L. Scott Levin holds his hand, double-hand transplant recipient eight-year-old Zion Harvey moves his fingers during a news conference Tuesday, July 28, 2015, at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) in Philadelphia. Surgeons said Harvey of
Double-hand transplant recipient eight-year-old Zion Harvey accompanied by Dr. L. Scott Levin, left, and his mother Pattie Ray, stands during a news conference Tuesday, July 28, 2015, at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) in Philadelphia. Surg Double-hand transplant recipient eight-year-old Zion Harvey accompanied by Dr. L. Scott Levin, left, and his mother Pattie Ray, stands during a news conference Tuesday, July 28, 2015, at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) in Philadelphia. Surg

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — An 8-year-old boy who lost his limbs to a serious infection has become the youngest patient to receive a double-hand transplant, surgeons said Tuesday.

Zion Harvey's forearms were heavily bandaged but his hands were visible as he flashed some big smiles Tuesday at a hospital news conference, where he thanked everyone for helping him along a "bumpy road."

The boy from the suburban Baltimore community of Owings Mills received the transplant earlier this month at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, though doctors did not publicly disclose the 11-hour operation until this week.

A 40-person medical team used steel plates and screws to attach the old and new bones. Surgeons then delicately reconnected arteries, veins, muscles, tendons and nerves.

Zion, a bright and precocious child, contracted an infection years ago that resulted in the amputation of his hands and feet. It also necessitated a kidney transplant, an organ he received from his mother.

Leg prosthetics have allowed Zion to be very active, including walking, running and jumping; he had learned to use his forearms to write, eat and play video games, and has been attending school. Physicians hope his new hands will enable him to achieve many more milestones, including his wish to throw a football.

Several adults in the U.S. have received double-hand or double-arm transplants in the past few years.

Hospital officials in Philadelphia believe Zion is the youngest person to undergo a double-hand transplant, which requires a lifetime of immune-suppressing drugs to ensure the body doesn't reject the new limbs.

Zion has already been taking anti-rejection drugs because of his donated kidney, which made him a good candidate for the hand transplant, doctors said.

Doctors say Zion will spend several weeks in physical rehab at the hospital before returning home.

The donor's family chose to remain anonymous.

Children's Hospital said it would not hold the family liable for any costs beyond that which may be covered by medical insurance.

___

This story has been corrected to show the boy is from Owings Mills, not Baltimore.

___

Follow Kathy Matheson at www.twitter.com/kmatheson

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Powered by Frankly
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2017 Midwest Television, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.