South Yorkshire man writes letter to surgeon to say thank you for double hand transplant

Chris King
Chris King
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A South Yorkshire man who was the first in the UK to have a double hand transplant has written a letter to say thank you to the surgeon.

Chris King, aged 57, from Rossington, near Doncaster, said he got his life back after his operation in July last year at Leeds General Infirmary.

Mr King can now do a range of tasks, including writing, making a cup of tea and gardening.

He said he is improving every week and his next aims are to tie his own shoelaces and button up his shirt.

Looking at his hands, Mr King said: "They are my boys, they really are."

"It's been going fantastically. I can make a fist, I can hold a pen, I can do more or less the same functions as I could with my original hands. There are still limitations but I'm getting back to the full Chris again."

Mr King lost both his hands, except his thumbs, in an accident involving a metal pressing machine at his place of work in Doncaster four years ago.

Medics at Sheffield's Northern General Hospital saved his life and enough of his lower limbs to enable the later transplant surgery.

Consultant plastic surgeon Professor Simon Kay performed the double hand transplant.

Mr King described how he celebrated re-learning how to hold a pen and write again with a letter to the professor.

And he said his handwriting is improving every day, now he has decided he will resume being left-handed.

"When I picked a pen up first time was with my right hand," he said.

"The next time I picked it up it was left. I might be able to write with both hands now.

"Everything's just progressing and it's bigger strides too that I'm making - bigger than I thought I'd ever be doing.

"I think that will be the icing on the cake when I can do my laces, and I don't think that's far off."

He thanked the family who donated the hands, describing them as a 'wonderful gift'.

"Become a donor and live your life to the full like I want to live now. That's the message I'd like to get over," he said.

"It's so wonderful. We can do some great things in this country. If only we can push it a bit more and don't be afraid to be a donor.

"I had a life-changing accident. That changed into a life changing operation which brought me back. I'm not worried about the future.

"I've heard it said that you can't look at life through rose-coloured glasses. You can."