News Releases

News Releases

Hand transplant recipients reach milestones

For Immediate Release: 1/22/2002

LOUISVILLE, KY - Matt Scott, the world's first successful hand transplant recipient will mark his three year anniversary January 24th. Scott along with Jerry Fisher, the nation's second recipient will be in Louisville for their yearly check-ups in February. Both men received their new left hands during surgical procedures performed by a team of hand surgeons from Kleinert, Kutz and Associates Hand Care Center, PLLC and University of Louisville at Jewish Hospital.

Scott became the nation's first hand transplant recipient (now the world's first successful) on January 24-25, 1999 and Fisher the second on February 16-17, 2001. Both patients will continue to gain strength and movement in their new hands and fingers for up to five years and anticipate two thumbs up for their yearly check-ups.

Scott and Fisher will attend a press briefing scheduled for February 22nd at Jewish Hospital. The briefing will be held to give an update on both patients' progress by lead hand surgeon Warren C. Breidenbach, M.D., Kleinert, Kutz and Associates Hand Care Center, PLLC, and lead transplant surgeon Darla K. Granger, M.D., University of Louisville. Scott and Fisher will also be available to answer questions from the media. Further details on the press briefing will be released later in February.

Scott, a New Jersey native, age 40, is an instructor at Camden County College. Scott and wife, Dawn, have two young sons, Ian and Jeremy. He can use his new hand for everyday living activities including picking up his two sons, opening a car door, turning doorknobs, drinking from a glass, dialing a cell phone, writing his name and tying his shoes. Scott also has hot and cold sensation in the hand. He lost his dominant left hand on December 23, 1985 in a blast from an M80 firecracker accident.

Fisher, age 37, and his wife, Sonya, are the parents of three boys and live in Jackson, Michigan. He is able to move his wrist, hand, fingers and thumb in various motions, can pick up and hold objects, drink from a glass and has sensation in his hand and fingers. In 1996, Fisher, a self-employed contractor, underwent amputation of his non-dominant left hand at the wrist as a result of a fireworks accident involving a three-inch mortar.

Hand Transplant Program

The hand transplant program was developed by a partnership of physicians and researchers at Jewish Hospital, the University of Louisville, and Kleinert, Kutz and Associates Hand Care Center. Scott and Fisher's hand transplants are two of the fourteen hands transplanted around the world. Warren C. Breidenbach, III, M.D. led a team of hand surgeons from Kleinert, Kutz and Associates to perform both hand transplants. The pioneering procedure is expected to greatly impact the future of transplantation and reconstructive surgery. Together, the partnership has supported the research initiatives of this innovative procedure along with other procedures to improve the quality of life for patients.

Information, photography, and streaming video relating to the hand transplant are available on our web site at www.handtransplant.com or www.jewishhospital.org.

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Jewish Hospital & St. Mary's HealthCare Kleinert Institute Kleinert Kutz Hand Care Center University of Louisville School of Medicine