Going home: 8-year-old who received new hands gets to leave hospital

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PHILADELPHIA- Zion is only 8, but he has a new lease on life and two new hands to go with it.

Back in July, Zion was the first child to ever receive a double hand transplant. He lost his hands and feet after a life-threatening infection when he was only 2. He also needed a kidney transplant, according to NBC News.

“The challenges facing Zion are new, but his determination should overcome them. He’s already done so many amazing things,” Zion’s mom said in a statement.

Transplant team lead surgeon Dr. Scott Levin said that Zion has done really well in his therapy since surgery.

After the surgery, which lasted 11 hours, he has had therapy several times each day.

“He’s just a remarkable lad. Today he was playing with his action figures and baking cookies with a whisk, doing all sorts of things with his hands we never dreamed he would be able to do within a few weeks of surgery,” Levin told NBC News.

Nearly 200 other inquiries have come in since Zion’s surgery, but unfortunately, not each person is a candidate for the transplant.

Doctors will also continue to monitor Zion’s brain as it learns to recognize his hands.

“His brain is probably trying to catch up to the fact he has new hands. This is an entire world that is new to us and has opened up tremendous opportunities to understand child development and the development of the brains of children with different extremity issues.”

He will continue therapy at home for the next two years or until the hands are fully functional.