Duke hand transplant recipient can use new hand


DURHAM, N.C. (AP) — A Texas man who received a hand transplant at the Duke University Hospital earlier this year is developing feeling and use of his new hand.

Rene Chavez of Laredo, Texas, told reporters at a news conference in Durham on Thursday that he’s very happy with the operation.

Chavez received the first hand transplant in North Carolina on May 27 and is expected to go home soon.

The 55-year-old Chavez lost his hand in an accident when he was 4 years old.

He says he’s finding new things every day that he can do with the hand.

The director of Duke’s hand transplant program, Dr. Linda Cendales, says there were no surprises during the 12-hour surgery. It was performed by 17 surgeons and 17 anesthesiologists, nurses, operating room staff and technicians.

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