Man with transplanted hands heads home

Jeff Kepner, the first person in England the US to receive two hand transplants, is now home after four months of recovery at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. From


In a strange way, the double transplant was a bit of setback for Kepner, who had lost part of both of his arms and legs in 1999. Doctors amputated the limbs in a bid to save his life after Kepner came down with a strep infection that plunged him into a coma.

After the amputations, Kepner was outfitted with prosthetic hands and feet and forged on with his life.

"He had gotten quite used to his hooks," his mother says of her son's artificial arms. "He could dress himself. He could drive his car. He could do a lot of things…"

Now in therapy (after the transplants), he is learning how to pick up small items, like cotton balls, and catch a ball, but he still has no feeling in his fingers. The nerves grow about an inch a month from where the hands were attached, at the forearm.

"They told him it will be at least until the end of the year before those nerves get down into those fingers," Doris Schafer said. "Then he'll begin to do things."

"Ex-county man ready to go home after double-hand transplant" (via Fortean Times)