Corinne Hutton has become the first person in Scotland to receive a double hand transplant. Hutton, who lost her hands during a bout of pneumonia last year, will be receiving a donor’s human hands and is expected to almost immediately feel through them.
According to the BBC, Hutton lost her hands and feet to gangrene, as the medicine used to defeat the pneumonia led to blood poisoning. She is the first in the UK to have both her hands replaced and the second in the nation to undergo the procedure at all. “I think she’ll get very good function very quickly, and partly this is a tribute to the team in Glasgow who removed Corinne’s hands in a way that would facilitate transplantation later,” said Prof. Simon Kay, who is expected to lead the procedure.
Hutton used her struggle without hands and feet to form a foundation, Finding Your Feet, dedicated to helping amputees. They also set up a fund for Hutton to receive bionic hands and feet. As part of the charity, Hutton has completed a number of events for her charity, including the New York Marathon and cycling the Great Wall of China. Hutton noted last year that her family was hoping she would be saved at least in part: “When I was in hospital, my family begged the doctors to save even just a little bit of me… I’m not dead. I’m still here, and I’ve been given a second chance at life.”
Hutton will not be receiving bionic hands but natural human ones. The procedure will require surgeons to attach a donor’s hands to Hutton’s wrists, and she is expected to regain some sensibility immediately. She will, however, have to undergo months of physical therapy to make her hands work fully, and even then it is not a guarantee. Hutton will also have to take anti-rejection drugs to ensure her body does not attempt to reject the hands for the rest of her life. Hutton told the Daily Mail, “I thought with a transplant they’d cut away my wrists, and if it failed I’d be much worse off. But they said the donor’s hands would attach to my wrists, and therefore if it fails I’m no worse off.”