News Releases

News Releases

Country's Second Hand Transplant Recipient Listed in Good Condition

For Immediate Release: 2/19/2001

LOUISVILLE, KY – The surgical team that performed the nation's second hand transplant over the weekend today said that the condition of hand transplant recipient Jerry Fisher is good and his progress is on schedule. The 36-year-old Jackson, Michigan resident, who received a new left hand during a 13-hour procedure, remains hospitalized at Jewish Hospital.

A news conference is scheduled for 2:00 p.m. (EST) on Wednesday, February 21 in the Jewish Hospital Rudd Heart and Lung Conference Center, 16th floor, 201 Abraham Flexner Way. The conference will be up linked via satellite. Coordinates for the satellite link will be provided tomorrow. Fisher's bandages were changes for the first time today. B-roll of the dressing change is available upon request. Photos of the dressing change will be available at 10 a.m. Tuesday, February 20 at

“The first 24-48 hours are critical and Jerry has come through this period very well. We are pleased with his progress,” reported lead hand surgeon Warren C. Breidenbach, III, M.D., Kleinert, Kutz and Associates.

“There are no signs of rejection at this time. We will continue to monitor for signs of rejection with biopsies and a number of other laboratory tests and evaluations,” Darla K. Granger, M.D., lead transplant surgeon who is managing the immunosuppressive therapy for Fisher.

Fisher's wife, Sonya, told reporters that her husband is in good spirits following surgery. “His goal has been to have a hand transplant ever since learning about Matt Scott's transplant two years ago,” she said. “This is what Jerry wanted and all of his family are behind him in this.” The Fishers have three sons--David, 11, Zachary, 6, and 4-month-old Nicholas.

The 18-member transplant team included surgeons from Kleinert, Kutz and Associates Hand Care Center, PLLC, the University of Louisville and Jewish Hospital as well as a five-member team from Anesthesiology Associates. Kentucky Organ Donor Affiliates, an organ procurement organization, coordinated the donation of the hands for both recipients. The group of surgeons that performed the procedure also performed the nation's first hand transplant on Matthew Scott two years ago.

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