Zion Harvey, a 9-year-old boy who received the first double-hand transplant in the United States last year, is now aiming to practice sports.

In July 2015, the Baltimore child underwent a 10-hour surgery to receive a double hand transplant after losing his hands and legs below the knee as a consequence of a severe infection. At the age of 2, Zion was diagnosed with a life-threatening sepsis infection, which led to further complications in his organs and the amputation of his hands and feet.

Zion Harvey
Just 13 months after the transplant surgery, Zion can now write, eat and dress himself. Image credit: NBC News.

The 9-year-old boy resulted as a candidate for the surgery after 18 months of tests conducted by Philadelphia’s Shriners Hospitals for Children and The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

More than a year has passed since the boy successfully received the double hand transplant, doctors have pointed out that Zion’s recovery goes beyond expectations.

Doctors have referred to the boy as a champion who has surpassed early-lifetime difficulties and medical treatments.

During a news conference at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia on Tuesday, August 23, Zion talked about his recovery and his next goal: playing sports.

“I feel happy about my new hands, and I don’t feel different. Nothing really changed because everybody I know is still the same. All I can do now is grip for baseball. I can grip onto a bat better. I can wear a baseball glove now,” said Zion on Tuesday at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

Zion Harvey
Earlier in August Zion had the opportunity of experiencing baseball’s excitement when he threw the first pitch at an Orioles game. Image credit: NBC News.

The boy referred to his “new” hands as amazing. The fact of being able to do things he could not do before fills him with joy.

Zion said that after getting his hands, he recovered the missing parts of his life. Now, his life is complete, and the sky is the limit, he added.

During the conference, Zion shared his experience after the surgery and credited his mom and grandma for transmitting him the wisdom and support he needed to face the entire process.

Doctors are Zion’s biggest fans

Dr. Scott Levin, the leader of Zion’s team of surgeons, remarked the boy has handled difficult surgery and therapy sessions better than many adults handle simpler procedures.

Levin also said he has never seen Zion crying nor saying not to do his therapies. Zion’s team of doctors have called themselves as the boy’s biggest fans because he is a remarkable human being, whose bravery and determination is worthy of reverence.

Double Hand Transplant-Child
Zion’s mother, Pattie Ray, doctor and physical therapist, joined the entire medical team that has treated the boy. Image credit: The Associated Press.

His mother stated she is living a dream throughout his boy. She added she will always support Zion in whatever he wants to do unless it is football. Ray argues the sport might result dangerous for the boy.

Zion, in turn, is starved for living new experiences and expressed he would convince his mom to try football.

Source: CBS Local