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Double Transplant Patient Shows Off New Hand

Tue, 09/07/2010 - 5:13am

Dylan Lovan, AP

The recipient of a rare double hand transplant says he feels fantastic and can wiggle fingers on both his new hands.

Richard Edwards made his first appearance on Thursday, about a week after he underwent a nearly 18-hour transplant procedure at a hospital in Louisville. The 55-year-old chiropractor from Edmond, Oklahoma had his hands severely burned in a fire in 2006. Edwards was the nation's third double hand transplant recipient. The surgery was performed at Jewish Hospital, the site of the world's first successful hand transplant in 1999.

Doctors say Edwards' progress is ahead of other patients because they were able to route his existing nerves into the donor hands. Edwards lost seven fingers after his accident but retained most of his original hands, though they were badly burned.

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