Double Hand Transplant

October 17, 2011 by staff 

Double Hand TransplantDouble Hand Transplant, A quadruple amputee who received new hands through a transplant operation says he is eager to do the ordinary things again, dressing, bathing, make coffee and sweetest of all, touching the faces of her two grandchildren.

Richard Mangino, 65, of Revere, lost his arms below the elbows and legs below the knees after having a kidney stone in 2002 and contracted a serious infection of the bloodstream.

Last week, a team of more than 40 surgeons, nurses and support staff in the Boston Brigham and Women’s Hospital has worked for over 12 hours of placing one hand transplant.

Mangino said in a news conference Friday that had adapted to life as a quadruple amputee. The former director of the ground crew of United Airlines at Logan Airport in Boston, Mangino are taught to perform daily activities with their prosthesis, mowing the lawn, shoveling snow and painting. He said people told him what a “miracle” that was.

“But the miracle that I have prayed for, as my oldest grandson Trevor was born, would be able to feel the sensation of touch again … to touch her face and Little Nicky, and her hair stroke, and teach them how to throw a ball, “he said. “To me, that would be a miracle. And today, my miracle has come true.”

The doctors said it will take six to nine months for Mangino to restore sensory function in his hands, but days after the surgery began to move his fingers independently.

The donor’s name was not made public.

In a statement, the donor’s wife, said her husband, talking about the donation, always said, “It’s just a body.”

“I had to struggle with the decision,” he said of the donation by her husband. “After digesting what you meant, I thought, if you can help someone else – was convinced that my husband feels the same way,” he said in his statement.

Dr. Bohdan Pomahac, director of plastic surgery transplantation at Brigham and Women, said there have been about 50 hands transplanted worldwide, about a dozen of them in the United States. He said the surgery Mangino was only the fourth bilateral hand transplant in the U.S.

Mangino was the second transplant procedure bilateral hands of surgeons at Brigham and Women, which has held four face transplants.

In May, a Connecticut woman who was maimed by a chimpanzee received a new face and two hands in the hospital, but the hand transplant failed after Charla Nash developed pneumonia and other complications after surgery.

Mangino surgery is involved in multiple tissues, including skin, tendons, muscles, ligaments, bones and blood vessels in your forearms and hands.

He said he is expecting to be able to do things every day without having to fight.

“I will not have to do a miracle to get up in the morning,” he said.

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