The mother of the nation's first double hand transplant patient says he's out of the hospital and looking forward to returning to his wife and daughter in Georgia.

Doris Schafer told the Intelligencer Journal-Lancaster New Era that her son, Jeff Kepner, visited her over the weekend in Lancaster. She says he plans to return to Augusta, Ga., at the end of this week.

Schafer says Kepner is considerably happier than when she saw him in June at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, about a month after the transplant.

She says her son still has no feeling in his fingers but is learning how to catch a ball and pick up small items. His doctors have said nerves grow about an inch a month.

Kepner lost his hands a decade ago to a bacterial infection.