Double hand transplant patient shows new hands

September 2, 2010 By DYLAN LOVAN , Associated Press Writer
Dr. Richard Edwards scratches his face with one of his new hands during a news conference at Jewish Hospital, in Louisville Thursday, Sept. 2, 2010. The 55-year-old chiropractor from Edmond, Okla., had his hands severely burned in a fire in 2006. Edwards says he can wiggle fingers on both his new hands. He was the nation's third double hand transplant recipient. (AP Photo/The Courier Journal, Michael Hayman) No sales No mags No archives

(AP) -- The recipient of a rare double hand transplant says he feels "fantastic" and can wiggle fingers on both his new hands.

Richard Edwards made his first appearance on Thursday, about a week after he underwent a nearly 18-hour transplant procedure at a hospital in Louisville. The 55-year-old chiropractor from Edmond, Okla., had his hands severely burned in a fire in 2006.

Edwards was the nation's third recipient. The surgery was performed at Jewish Hospital, the site of the world's first successful hand transplant in 1999.

Doctors say Edwards' progress is ahead of other patients because they were able to route his existing nerves into the donor hands. Edwards lost seven fingers after his accident but retained most of his original hands, though they were badly burned.

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