Published October 14, 2011
BOSTON – A Boston hospital has performed a rare double hand transplant.
A team of more than 40 surgeons, nurses and support staff at Brigham and Women’s Hospital worked for more than 12 hours performing the surgery last week.
The recipient, 65-year-old Richard Mangino of Revere, lost his arms below the elbows and legs below the knees after contracting sepsis in 2002.
The transplant involved multiple tissues including skin, tendons, muscles, ligaments, bones and blood vessels on both the left and right forearms and hands.
"First, I must express my deep gratitude to the donor family," Mangino said at a press conference Friday. "They are, and always will be, in my prayers. My family and I grieve for the loss of your loved one. I am humbled and overwhelmed with emotion. Thank you for this incredible gift."
Mangino said he considers it a miracle that he is now able to touch the faces of his two grandsons, Trevor and Nicky. He added that he hopes to teach them how to throw a ball.
The donor’s name was not made public.
The hospital performed its first double hand transplant on May. Several other U.S. hospitals have performed similar operations.
The Associated Press contributed to this article.