US mom receives revolutionary hand transplant surgeryApril 20th, 2011 - 6:14 pm ICT by ANI
Washington, Apr 20 (ANI): A 26-year-old California woman has become the first person in the western United States to receive a hand transplant.
Emily Fennell, who is a singe mom, was given a “donor hand” in a marathon 14-hour procedure at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center on March 4, after losing her own right hand almost five years ago in a rollover car accident.
She reunited with her doctors for a press conference to show off her new hand - the “gift” from an unnamed deceased donor - and talk about her experience.
“It has been surreal to see that I have a hand again, and be able to wiggle my fingers,” CBS News quoted her as saying.
“My 6-year-old daughter has never seen me with a hand. She looked at it, touched it and said it was ‘cool.’ ”
The transplant surgery was the 13th of only 14 such operations performed in the U.S. It involved a team of 17 surgeons, anesthesiologists, operating room nurses and technicians.
Fennell, who is from Yuba City, California, will need to take antirejection drugs for the rest of her life - or her body’s immune system could reject the new hand. And the hope is that occupational therapy will enable her brain to work seamlessly with the new hand and to give her as much dexterity as possible.
Fennell doesn’t have any sensation yet in the transplanted hand, the Los Angeles Times reported. She probably won’t for several months. But she’s optimistic that things will continue to improve.
“The minute you tell me I can’t do something,” she told the paper, “I do it.” (ANI)
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