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First Child With Double Hand Transplant Makes Stunning Progress

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Zion HarveyZion Harvey has a lot to celebrate and that’s exactly what he’s doing. The 9-year-old was the first to receive a double hand transplant and one year later his progress is amazing everyone around him.

Zion lost his hands and feet when he was just 2 years old die to a serious infection. His life was changed when he found out that he’d become the first ever child recipient of a hand transplant- and not just for one hand, but two. Fast forward to this year, when he’s doing everything from playing sports, to dressing himself, to writing his feelings in a journal, all with his hands and a smile.

“I feel happy about my new hands and I don’t feel different,” Harvey said at a hospital news conference. “Now I can throw a football further than when I didn’t have hands.” He added, “My next goal is to convince my mom to let me play football.”

Zion and his mom, Pattie Ray, only grew closer throughout the experience and he feels he owes all of his progress to her. “I owe everything to my mom because she helped me when I was through the roughest times of my life. My mom said you have to learn to do it by yourself before you ask somebody to do it for you. She’s the best mom I ever had,” he says in the video.

Harvey is excited about the many new possibilities that his transplant has brought him. First and foremost, he’ll always be thankful to the parents of the child whose hands have now given him a new life. “I just want to write a letter to the parents for giving me their son’s hands because they didn’t have to do that if they didn’t want to.”

Watch Zion in Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia’s one year update video below:

Photo Credit: Video Screenshot