Friday, December 01, 2006

Give the Guy a Hand

One of my closest friends in college, and long afterwards had a little accident shortly after he graduated from High School. Just weeks after graduation he had landed a job in a factory where he was working on a stamping press and he had a little accident and totally lost his right hand.

In spite of this he remained active, pitching in church and city league softball (where he also hit an astonishing number of home runs), married, raised a family, briefly served as a minister and was popular at school with his outgoing personality. He was totally at ease with his missing hand and even enjoyed pranks on total strangers that involved his missing hand.

New possibilities arrive.

A man from the Great Lakes State has a new hand courtesy of a transplant. You know you almost take heart and kidney transplants for granted, but this is every bit as astonishing. I kind of wonder if you can transplant legs and arms as well. I don't know why not but who knows what the limits are? The only limitation could possibly be the availability of donors.

We seem to be able to transplant anything except the central nervous system.


Blogger Patrick Joubert Conlon said...

I think the limitation right now is size because of needing to get the blood circulating again. A hand is easier than a whole arm or leg.

12:05 PM  
Blogger Steven said...

The grafting of limbs and extremities will become common over the next decade. With any type of transplant comes the chance of rejection and the anti-rejection medications that will have to be taken for the rest of the recipients life; however, regaining ones extremity and its use would be well worth the chances and the regiment of medications.

Best wishes, to your friend and his family for a speedy recovery and a successful outcome. Please keep us posted on his progress.

12:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

medicine has made possible some amazing things! and who knows what we'll see in the future...

5:18 PM  
Blogger shoprat said...

Steven, you misunderstood me. It was not my friend who got the transplant, though it would be nice if he could. I was thinking of him as I read about a total stranger.

6:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So it would seem. My reading comprehension or seemly, lack there of has gotten the best of me once again.

11:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pretty nice story Shop... My intial feeling is I'd have to go through life without one, because it would seem strange to look down at someone elses body part. However, until one is in that kind of situation and has went through life handicapped without the use of one and all the burdens that go with it; I can't say I wouldn't do it either like I do right now...

11:33 PM  
Blogger Lone Pony said...

I'd get used to seeing a hand that doesn't look exactly like the other one. Especially if it meant I could manipulate things and feel things again.

7:23 AM  
Blogger Gayle said...

I have nothing but admiration for your friend, Shoprat; and others who manage to remain positive while going through something like that. Your friend has accomplished so much without one of his hands that I'll bet that after all this time he wouldn't even be interested in a transplant.

7:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Now that's cool. Anything to get the persons life back on a normal track can only benefit the individual, and society as a whole.

8:15 PM  
Blogger Little Miss Chatterbox said...

That is amazing!!!

The progress we are making medically is so wonderful. Rush lost his hearing but because of cochlear implants he was able to continue to be a talk show host. 50 years ago that wouldn't have been possible. Very cool!!

1:56 AM  

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