News Releases

News Releases

Hand Transplant - Nation's First and Second - Meet Face to Face For First Time

For Immediate Release: 4/17/2001

LOUISVILLE, KY – Matthew Scott and Jerry Fisher, the first and second individuals in the United States to receive a hand transplant, will meet face to face for the first time at Jewish Hospital April 19th. The same day, a press briefing will be held to give an update on Scott and Fisher's progress by lead hand surgeon Warren C. Breidenbach, M.D., Kleinert, Kutz and Associates Hand Care Center, PLLC, and lead transplant surgeon Darla K. Granger, M.D., University of Louisville. Scott and Fisher will also be available to answer questions from the media.

The news conference is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. (EDT) on Thursday, April 19 in the Jewish Hospital Rudd Heart and Lung Center, Conference Center, 16th floor, 201 Abraham Flexner Way. The conference will be up linked via satellite: Ku-Band SBS 6, Transponder 3, Horizontal Polarity Downlink Frequency 11774 MHZ. The signal will be available at 2:15 p.m. (EDT).

Scott and Fisher will also serve as the official “Thundernators” at the Kentucky Derby Festival pyrotechnic show “Thunder Over Louisville” Saturday, April 21st by pushing the buttons to light 51,000 firework shells, the largest fireworks display in America. The event draws an audience of more than 600,000 spectators. Both hand transplant recipients accepted the honor because they wanted to send a message about fireworks safety. Each had incurred a firework injury causing the loss of their hand several years before receiving a new hand.

Both men received their new left hands during surgical procedures performed by a team of hand surgeons from Kleinert, Kutz and Associates Hand Care Center, PLLC and University of Louisville at Jewish Hospital. Scott became the nation's first hand transplant recipient on January 24-25, 1999 and Fisher the second on February 16-17, 2001.

The hand transplant program was developed by a partnership of physicians and researchers at Jewish Hospital, the University of Louisville, and Kleinert, Kutz and Associates Hand Care Center. Scott and Fisher's hand transplants are two of the ten hands on eight people transplanted around the world. The pioneering procedure is expected to greatly impact the future of transplantation and reconstructive surgery.

Information, photography, and streaming video relating to the hand transplant are available on our web site at or

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