Transplant Recipient Talks About New Hands

by Rick Howlett on September 2, 2010

Story and Photos By Sheila Ash

The nation’s third double hand transplant recipient and his team of doctors gathered Thursday to discuss his surgery and progress. It was Rich Edwards’ first public remarks since last week’s operation.

Audio MP3

Sitting next to his wife Cindy, Rich Edwards was upbeat and positive just over a week after undergoing a 17-and-a-half hour surgery to replace both of his hands. Edwards, a former chiropractor, became emotional as he spoke about going back to work and regaining the feeling in his hands.

“I would love to go back to chiropractic. I’m hoping that I can. And I know that if I can’t get back to chiropractic at least I can start doing things again that I never used to be able to do. One of my favorite senses was my sense of touch and I love to hold my wife’s hand, feel her skin and I want to do that again,” he said.

Edwards lost the use of his hands in a fire four years ago. He says he’s very grateful to the donor family. Doctors at Jewish Hospital Hand Care Center say Edwards is doing well enough to leave the hospital Friday.      

Edwards is from Oklahoma, but will remain in Louisville for at least the next three months for therapy.

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