Hand transplant patient improving

LOUISVILLE, Ky., Nov. 24 (UPI) -- A double hand transplant recipient in Kentucky says three months after the surgery he can't stop looking at his hands and is starting to regain some feeling.

Chiropractor Rich Edwards suffered burns over 30 percent of his body and his hands were left disfigured and unable to function in a 2006 car fire in Oklahoma, WDRB-TV, Louisville, Ky., reported.


"As soon as I looked over there, I remember just seeing that window go 'kaboom' into a million pieces of glass, and that's all I remember," says Edwards.

Doctors in Louisville performed the city's first double hand transplant to give Edwards his new hands.

After the successful transplant, Edwards says he's happy to touch things he missed the most, including his wife Cindy's hands.

"I love it when we take one of [the] braces off and she says, 'Hold my hand, and ... I get to hold her hand. She puts her fingers in between my fingers and clasps my hand," says Edwards. "We get to feel and look what it looks like again."

A setback this month almost jeopardized his progress as his body started to reject the hands. Doctors put Edwards back in the hospital and on a course of steroids. He may lose two fingertips on the right hand, they say.


"We entered a lot of prayer up into heaven for a miracle on those two fingers, and we know if it's God's will, he will save those fingertips," says Edwards. "I've been blessed with two beautiful hands. I can spare a couple of fingertips."

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