Double hand transplant patient: 'I wrote a thank-you letter to my surgeon'

THE GUARDIAN | Tess de la Mare

Chris King describes getting his life back since surgery last year, as surgeon says he has progressed faster than anticipated

Chris King at Leeds General Infirmary. He said he had been improving every week since the surgery last year. Photograph: Danny Lawson/PA
The first person in the UK to undergo a double hand transplant has said writing a letter to thank his surgeon has been one the highlights of his first nine months since the operation – that, and being able to applaud his favourite rugby league team.

Chris King, 57, described how he had got his life back since the surgery last July, when he became the second person to have a hand transplant at the UK’s specialist centre for the operation at Leeds General Infirmary (LGI) and the first to have both hands replaced.

King, from Rossington near Doncaster, said he can now do a range of tasks, including writing, making tea and gardening, as he progresses faster than his surgeon anticipated. He said he was improving every week and that his next aims were to tie his shoelaces and button up his shirt (he has already cracked undoing them).

Looking at his hands, King said: “They are my boys, they really are. It’s been going fantastically. I can make a fist, I can hold a pen, I can do more or less the same functions as I could with my original hands. There are still limitations, but I’m getting back to the full Chris again.” Continue reading
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