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A young Baltimore boy has two new transplanted hands to replace ones he lost to amputation five years ago, his doctors announced Tuesday.

Zion Harvey, 8, became the recipient of the world’s first double hand transplant performed on a child, following 10 hours of surgery by a 40-person team in early July at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

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Zion already can move and flex his new thumbs and fingers, and is taking part in rehab to regain further dexterity, said Dr. Scott Levin, chair of orthopaedic surgery at Penn Medicine and director of the hospital’s hand transplantation program.

“We’ve been doing this since 1998, but in adults. This type of transplant has never been done in a child,” Levin said. “It’s taken us 17 years to move from adult to child, and in this little 8-year-old boy, Zion Harvey, this was a historic moment that demonstrated it was possible.”

Zion’s mother, Pattie Ray, called the transplant a “modern miracle,” and said her son is already out of bed, mostly healed and off pain medication.

“He’s looking forward to getting back to sports with his rough friends,” Ray said, chuckling. “He wants to have a party when he goes home and invite all his friends so he can show off his hands.”

8-Year-Old After World’s First Double Hand Transplant: “Never Give Up On Your Dreams”  was originally published on blackdoctor.org

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