VIDEO: Hand Transplant Recipient Discusses Therapy, Progress

by Gabe Bullard on October 5, 2010

by Sheila Ash

The nation’s third double hand transplant recipient spoke for the second time Tuesday.

Oklahoman Rich Edwards was injured in a fire four years ago. His arms, hands, back and face were severely burned, leaving him with very little function of his hands. His transplant was less than two months ago. He says he’s now undergoing several hours of therapy everyday.

“We pick out one finger and move the entire finger curl it up as much as possible, extend it as far as possible. And then just choose a portion, the outer third, one third tip of that finger and see if I can bend it and extend it and then the middle third of that finger,” he says.

Edwards’s progress was delayed last month when doctors performed a second surgery to remove blood clots from his right hand. Because of this, Edwards has more mobility in his left hand, but he’s confident his right hand will catch up.

Edwards will remain in Louisville through the end of the year to receive therapy at Jewish Hospital, where his transplant was done.

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