Friday 2 December 2016

Double-hand transplant man 'now whole again'

Dave Higgens

Published 22/07/2016 | 02:30

Chris King, from Doncaster, with his new hands at Leeds General Infirmary. Photo. Danny Lawson/PA Wire
Chris King, from Doncaster, with his new hands at Leeds General Infirmary. Photo. Danny Lawson/PA Wire

The first person in the UK to have a double hand transplant says he feels "whole again" - and he is looking forward to holding a bottle of beer and wearing shirts with real buttons.

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Chris King (57) lost both his hands, except the thumbs, in an accident involving a metal pressing machine at work three years ago.

Now Mr King has become the second person to have a hand transplant at the UK's specialist centre for the operation at Leeds General Infirmary - and the first person to have both hands replaced.

Recovering after the surgery, he said: "I couldn't wish for anything better.

"It's better than a lottery win because you feel whole again."

Mr King, who is single and from Rossington, near Doncaster, South Yorkshire, said the operation appears to have been a complete success.

He said he already has some movement. "They look absolutely tremendous," he said. "They're my hands. They really are my hands. My blood's going through them. My tendons are attached. They're mine. They really are.

He said: "It was just like the hands were made-to-measure. They absolutely fit. And it's actually opened a memory because I could never remember what my hands looked like after the accident because that part of my brain shut down."

Mr King recalled how he spent three years getting used to having no hands and resigned himself to living an adapted life, despite little reminders from his five-year-old niece.

"A couple of weeks ago she was holding my thumbs, walking with me, and she said 'Uncle Chris, when are you going to grow some fingers?'" he said.

Irish Independent

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