Published: Thursday, August 25, 2016 @ 1:48 AM
Updated: Thursday, August 25, 2016 @ 1:48 AM
PHILADELPHIA — A 9-year-old boy is thriving one year after becoming the world’s first double hand transplant recipient.
When Zion Harvey was just 2 years old, he lost both his hands and legs to a deadly infection.
In July 2015, doctors at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia successfully transplanted two new hands to Zion.
After a year of grueling physical therapy, he’s now throwing baseballs, writing and playing Jenga.
“I’m very excited because now I can do more than I imagined, like throw a football, play baseball or, I don’t know, do a handstand,” Zion told NBC News. “So when I got my hands, it’s like, here’s the piece of my life that was missing. Now it’s here. Now my life is complete.”
The recovery process is long, but Zion has regained sensation in his hands, and his brain is re-learning how to use them. He says he couldn’t be more happy with the results.
“Before you quit and say, ‘I give up,’ try everything first,” Zion said.