This young boy was the first to ever get a double hand transplant and the results are absolutely incredible.
Zion Harvey is just 9 years old, and at a young age he has experienced something that most 50 year olds haven’t had to. He is now a huge part of history and he has Dr. Scott Levin, the director of the hand transplant program at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and Penn Medicine to thank for it.
When Zion was only 2 years old, he was diagnosed with a disease that was very toxic to his body. That’s when his life changed forever and his doctor made the decision to remove both of his hands and both of his feet.
Little Zion has lived the next six years being “different” from all of his friends and siblings. With no hands it was hard to connect with others and feel like he fit in with the rest of his family. That all changed when Dr. Scott Levin had a dream to make this young boy’s life normal.
Well, that dream became a reality a year ago when Dr. Scott Levin and his team performed a double hand transplant surgery on Zion. It was the first hand transplant, and they didn’t know what the results would be, but they weren’t scared to try it.
Thankfully Zion’s mother agreed to the surgery because the Harvey family got to celebrate Zion pitching the first pitch at a Baltimore Orioles game. This was a lifelong dream for the young boy and it has finally came true after a lot of hard work.
In an interview on TODAY Harvey says that his favorite thing about having hands is being able to wrap them around his mother for the first time.
“Just being able to wrap them around my mom…”
And in return his mother says it is the best thing that has happened to her…
“To see him throwing that baseball just took my heart…I didn’t have a manual, I had never been here before. As mothers, we just have to protect and fight, and that’s what I’ve been doing.”
The surgery was an 11 hour surgery, and the recovery time was long and hard but Zion was determined. Even Dr. Scott Leven and his team were impressed by his tenacity and desire to overcome the obstacle that was sitting in front of him.
“His motivation, his commitment…he has a great family team, we have a great team at the hospital…We’re so proud of him, and we won. We won to get him to this point. This is certainly not a game, but a hope for many children like Zion…”
Dr. Levin even shared that this has played a huge part in history and he is excited to see where it can go from here.
“It’s part of the story of transplantation. Solid organs in adults, now moving these opportunities for these life changing operations in children. We are so excited that we are at this point, we’ve learned so much. He’s taught us, he’s teaching us everyday…we learn from him so it’s been a great opportunity.”
Watch Zion in the interview below, he is so cute and funny! I love this!
This is amazing!!!!!