News Releases

News Releases

U.S. first hand transplant highlighted on The Learning Channel

For Immediate Release: 3/23/2001

The United States' first successful hand transplant performed at Jewish Hospital by Kleinert, Kutz and Associates Hand Care Center, PLLC, and University of Louisville surgeons will be highlighted in a one-hour documentary series called “Superhuman Body” on The Learning Channel. Matt Scott who celebrated his two-year anniversary of the experimental procedure this past January will be featured in the second of the four part series – Spare Parts – airing Tuesday, March 27, 10-11 p.m (ET/PT).

Viewers will see how the complex human body outperforms robotics. The program demonstrates how certain conditions are still corrected with extraordinary man-made devices, yet scientists constantly struggle to imitate the perfection of the human organism. Even the most advanced prosthetic, such as a state-of-the-art bionic hand, is clumsy and cumbersome when compared to the natural sophistication of the human hand.

The success of Scott's hand transplant along with the world's first recipient, Clint Hallam will both be featured. Scott is shown with his family at his home and work in New Jersey. He demonstrates the incredible function, strength, control and range of motion of his new left hand by picking up his son, tying his shoes, drinking from a glass and playing a drum pad with sticks. Scott is extremely happy with the results of the experimental procedure.

Hallam is also shown with his family and his hand function is demonstrated to be far less than Scott's. On February 2, 2001, Hallam had his hand amputated in Great Britain after discontinuing the immunosuppressive therapy necessary for the hand to survive.

Hand transplant recipient, Scott will return to Louisville in April to speak at a University of Louisville Conference on Medical Ethics. He will also meet in person Jerry Fisher, the nation's second hand transplant recipient, for the first time. Scott and Fisher plan to enjoy the kick off of the Derby Festival at “Thunder Over Louisville” together.

Worldwide the hand transplant procedure is expected to greatly impact the future of transplantation and reconstructive surgery. The Louisville hand transplant program was developed through a partnership with physicians and researchers at Jewish Hospital, the University of Louisville and Kleinert, Kutz and Associates Hand Care Center, PLLC.

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