UK’s first double hand transplant patient back gardening with new green fingers

A man who lost both hands at work has fallen back in love with gardening after a pioneering transplant.

Only Chris King's thumbs could be saved from his hands in a horrific accident involving a metal-pressing machine.

But now the 62-year-old can do practically everything he could before bar making a fist, thanks to the UK's first double hand transplant.

Now five years since undergoing life-restoring surgery, Chris from Doncaster, South Yorkshire is able to use a pair of hand shears and lawnmower as he rediscovers his green fingers.

Talking to the Mirror about the "incredible gift" he was given in July 2016, he said of his donor: "Because he died I’m made better and that still cuts into me now and again.

"I still say to the Prof (at LGI): 'Do you know his nails are growing?' and he tells me 'Look, Chris, they’re your hands'.

"But he just doesn’t understand, I love it. I said to him: 'We’re off to Scarborough. I’m taking the lad with me! He’s coming with me'.

"I don’t know his family but he comes with me and it sits lovely with me."

  • Handforth Parish Council Zoom meeting star Jackie Weaver to launch her own podcast

Professor Simon Kay carried out the pioneering operation at Leeds General Infirmary (LGI).

Chris said he doesn’t know who his donor was but believes he died in an accident and says he has written a "tear-stained" thank you letter to his family.

He said his donation has made him whole again and told how before his op he would hide his arms behind his back during trips out.

  • Meghan Markle and Prince Harry fans slam 'copying' William and Kate after YouTube launch

"I always thought people were looking at me and some people were," he said.

"But now I leave them by my side.

"And then there was the time my niece just slipped her hand into mine and we just walked down to the sea together. She didn’t get scared or anything."

Chris said he has had to shield for most of the pandemic but has been kept sane because he loves "pottering around" in his garden.

"I bought myself a pair of hand shears because I can now use my hands a bit more, so I can cut my hedge in the back garden," he said.

"That’s what I used to do, I’d finish work and tidy the garden up a bit. It really boosted me up getting back to the garden.

"I could still do little bits but I can pull start the mower now, too. It’s quite a lot of pressure to pull the cord, but I do that."

He joked: "My hands are perfect now. I can’t make a fist, but if I have to defend myself, I can still give someone a severe handbagging.

"And I’ve played pool and had a go at the kiddies ten pin bowling."

"You take your hands for granted, you really do. I used to do a lot of DIY.

"But you know something! One of the most wonderful things I ever did after the operation was when I came in on a hot day and put the sink full of cold water in the bowl and I just wet my face with my hands.

"I then put the towel on my face to dry it and I thought 'do you know what you’ve just done? You just went and did it like you normally would'."

Source: Read Full Article