TV host shakes hands with man following world's first successful double transplant surgery
One of the most difficult realities that pretty much all of us are affected by at some point in our lives is the prospect of developing a serious illness or becoming the victim of a debilitating accident. Or that someone we love dearly will be confronted with that incomparably awful fate. It serves as a painful reminder that we should always remember to be grateful for what we have. Because what we take for granted could all be gone in an instant.
Fifty-seven-year-old Chris King experienced just that following the most harrowing ordeal. Back in 2013, King lost both his hands in an incident involving a metal pressing machine at work.
However, he has since successfully undergone Britain's first double hand transplant and his life has changed drastically as a result.
Watch the moment a TV host shook hands with Chris King, post-hand transplant surgery:
For the first time in five years, Chris King is able to perform basic, everyday activities such as pouring himself a drink, opening his front door, and holding his niece. He told the Mirror how the groundbreaking procedure he had back in 2016 gave him his "freedom back", which he first noticed the moment he successfully managed to open his own front door.
"The reason it's taken so long is the key pushes against my index finger and it was painful," he said. "But the other day Amazon came with some parcels and I thought, 'I'm going to give it another go."
"I tried the key and it worked. I screamed, 'I've done it. I've done it for the first time.' The delivery man seemed a bit taken aback. I told him I lost my hands in 2013 and got new ones in 2016 and he just said, 'Wow, that's brilliant.'"
In 2013, King found himself trapped in a pressing machine for an excruciating six minutes before a medical team arrived and helped him. He was then rushed via ambulance to Sheffield's Northern General Hospital. King recalled how close he was to death but admits the team at the hospital worked exceptionally hard to save his life.
In 2016, medics performed a double hand transplant on him at Leeds General Infirmary. Following the surgery, King wrote Professor Simon Kay - the man who performed the procedure - a thank you note.
Thanks to a donor, King went from having only two thumbs to two full hands and has become the very first person in Britain to have had both hands replaced. The first successful single hand transplant took place back in 2012. The patient was a pub landlord by the name of Mark Cahill.
It takes a lot of time and patience before a new transplant can be fully functional. And, in fact, it wasn't until two years after King's surgery that he was able to regain enough strength to complete basic tasks.
The surgery is extremely complex and expensive. It can even cost as much as $65,000 and can take up to 12 hours to complete.
In the initial part of the procedure, a medical team must very carefully remove the donor's hands while another team works on preparing the recipient to receive them. Bones must be screwed together with titanium plates and screws, then the surgeons can work on attaching tendons and muscle with the intention of the hand regaining the ability to feel.
We wish Chris King all the happiness in the world with his new hand and hope the very distressing medical plight he has faced over the last few years can now be put to rest.