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Transplant Recipient: 'This is Like Science Fiction'

Thu, 03/18/2010 - 7:14am

by Gitika Ahuja and Suzan Clark

A Harrisburg, Pa., man who lost both hands in a farming accident is now recovering after having become the first man in U.S. history to get a transplanted arm and forearm.

"You know, this is like science fiction," Chris Pollock, a mechanic and National Guardsman, said on "Good Morning America." "This is, like, 20 years ago ... this was only thought of, and now it's for real."

Pollock was out picking corn late in 2008 when the tractor he was riding malfunctioned. The 41-year-old father of twins stopped to take a look and his coat got caught in the machine's rollers, dragging his left hand in.

Two months after Pollack applied—a little over a year after his accident—he got a late-night phone call notifying him that donor hands had been found. The very next morning -- Feb. 5 -- he was in surgery.

Twenty-one surgeons working on four operating tables began the transplant that took 11 hours to complete. First, they removed his arm below the right elbow because it was damaged, replacing it with a new elbow and forearm.

Then, on to the left arm, and a complex series of procedures requiring the precise and painstaking connection of bones, tendons, nerves and arteries.

For the complete version of this article, click here

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