First U.S. Hand Transplant Recipient Celebrates Milestone

LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- A New Jersey man celebrates a medical milestone thanks to a team of Louisville surgeons.

20 years ago, Matthew Scott became the first U.S. recipient of a hand transplant in a 14 plus hour surgery at Jewish Hospital.

Scott was told if the transplant lasted for a year it would be a home run and two years would be a game changer.

Scott, 57, says the donor hand operates at about half the level of his native hand but is grateful to the 18 surgeons who gave him the hand 13 years after a fireworks accident caused his original hand to be amputated.

He has met the family of his hand donor once shortly after the surgery.

Scott, who is currently the head of an EMT and paramedic school, celebrated the occasion on his annual checkup visit to Louisville.

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