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1 Year After First Child Received Double Hand Transplant, Zion Harvey is Thriving

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zion harvey double hand transplant Courtesy of The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia

About one year ago, 9-year-old Zion Harvey made history when he became the first child to receive a double hand transplant. When Harvey was 2, he lost his hands and feet due to a life-threatening infection.

Today he is thriving and can do things like throw a baseball, make his lunch, hold his 3-year-old sister Zoé, and write in his journal.

But his favorite thing to do now with his new hands?

"Just being able to wrap them around my mom," Harvey said in a recent interview on the TODAY Show.

Courtesy of The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia

Earlier this month, Harvey had the opportunity to throw out the first pitch at a Baltimore Orioles game, a dream of his.

"To see him throwing a baseball just took my heart," Harvey's mother Pattie Ray said on the TODAY Show.

The functioning of Harvey's hands have improved drastically, but it took a lot of hard work, focus and therapy to get there. In July 2015, Harvey underwent an 11-hour surgery for the double hand transplant at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP).

Typically, doctors are hesitant to put children on the drugs required for a hand transplant due to side effects, but Harvey was already taking the anti-rejection medicine required for the procedure due to an earlier kidney transplant, according to TIME.

To see the full original story, click here.

1) First Child to Receive a Double Hand Transplant Can Now Write, Make Lunch. Time. Accessed August 24, 2016. 

2) 1 year after double hand transplant, Zion Harvey says best part is hugging his mom. TODAY Show. Accessed August 24, 2016. 
3) Zion's Story: The Gift of Hands. The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. Accessed August 24, 2016.

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