After a childhood infection, which almost took his life, eight-year-old Zion lost both his hands and feet. Fortunately, an extraordinary event is making history.
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Zion’s hands had to be amputated due to the life-threatening infection he contracted as a child. But, did that prevent him from having a healthy and happy life as a child? Definitely not. Hide-and-seek with his little sister? You got it. Video games? Check. Playing guitar? Check.
Now, that may sound very ordinary, but for a kid in Zion’s shoes, it’s quite remarkable. At the young age of two years old, Zion had both his hands and feet amputated. Today he lives a pretty normal life, and all with a big smile on his face. But, what he went through was somehow very intense for a kid.
Forty surgeons, including ten hand specialists, worked for a painstaking eleven hours to give Zion two brand-new hands. However, his surgery was very unique because Zion’s hands will grow with him, unlike other expensive prosthetics that need to be upgraded and re-fitted after every few years.
Despite the surgery’s success, the work is far from over. Hand transplants need a life of special care, physical therapy, and medicines. But, even with all the effort, a guaranteed success still isn’t an assurance, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Zion already has big plans even though his hands are still quite new. The first he’d like to do with his hands is to pick up his little sister.
Zion has his eyes on the prize regardless of the challenges ahead. When questioned about what he is looking forward to the most, Zion replied, “Pick up my little sister from daycare, and wait for her to run into my hands and I pick her up and spin her around”.
But, the most thrilling part about Zion’s story is that his historic double hand transplant doesn’t end with him. In fact, he’s just the beginning.
Doctors and physical therapists will be closely monitoring his progress as he heals and learns how to use his new hands because he’s the first. Imagine…a couple of years from now, more and more people will benefit from this incredible technology and multiple limb transplants will be old news.