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Four years ago, Chris King lost both of his hands in a workplace accident. Three years later, his life was changed again—this time for the better—as he became the world’s first double hand transplant recipient, thanks to the innovation of plastic surgeon Simon Kay.

Kay made headlines in 2012 after completing the first (single) hand transplant in history.


The complicated procedure is still in its nascency, so King was told to temper any expectations of returning to his pre-accident life. But it’s now been 10 months since the procedure, and his progress has been exemplary. Speaking to The Telegraph, King says by way of an update, "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."

As he regained both dexterity and function in both his hands, King achieved his longtime goal of drafting a handwritten thank-you letter to his surgeon. The act was filmed to demonstrate the incredible progress King has made in a remarkably short span of time.

With that task out of the way, King has obligated himself to pen another letter, this one to show his appreciation to the family of the organ donor whose hands he now uses. Without organ donation and the donor’s registration, King would continue to struggle without the aid of this life-changing gift.

Consequently, he’s dedicated both his story and his effort to compel people to register as organ donors. "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. 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."

King’s historic surgery and inspiring progress go a long way as testimony to the importance of organ donation, but it’s clear he’s pretty far from the end of his crusade.

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