Eight-Year-Old Boy Gets Double Hand Transplant

Zion Harvey

The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia

In a surgical first, Philadelphia doctors have transplanted donor hands and forearms onto an 8-year-old boy whose own hands were amputated when he was a toddler. Zion Harvey told NBC News that the groundbreaking 10-hour operation performed earlier this month at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia was a dream come true. He can’t wait for the day he holds his little sister with his new hands. “My favorite thing [will be to] wait for her to run into my hands as I pick her up and spin her around,” he said.

His mother, Pattie Ray, was overcome with emotion as she watched her son being wheeled out of the operating room. “When I saw Zion’s hands for the first time after the operation I just felt like he was being reborn,” she said. “I see my son in the light I haven’t seen him in five years. It was like having a newborn. It was a very joyous moment for me. I was happy for him.”

Newsletter

Sign up for the EBONY Newsletter

Newsletter

Sign up for the EBONY Newsletter

When you sign up for the EBONY newsletter, you’ll be the first to know about all the latest news and updates that are important to you. Gain access to exclusive interviews, videos, special events, and product giveaways delivered right to your inbox!