News Releases

News Releases

U.S’ Only Two Hand Transplant Recipients Visit Jewish Hospital for Annual Check-Ups

For Immediate Release: 2/11/2003

LOUISVILLE, KY – Matt Scott, the world's first successful hand transplant recipient and Jerry Fisher, the nation's second recipient will be in Louisville this week for their yearly check-ups. Scott and Fisher will be at a press briefing scheduled for February 14 at Jewish Hospital.

Scott celebrated his four-year anniversary with his new hand on January 24 and Fisher, will mark his two-year anniversary on February 16. Both men received their new left hands during surgical procedures at Jewish Hospital performed by a team of hand surgeons from Kleinert, Kutz and Associates Hand Care Center, PLLC and University of Louisville.

The news conference is scheduled for 2:00 p.m. (EST) on Friday, February 14 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 located at 74 degrees West, Transponder 6, analog downlink frequency 11847 Mhz., vertical downlink polarity, audio 6.20/6.80.

The briefing will be held to give an update on both patients' progress by lead hand surgeon Warren C. Breidenbach, M.D., Kleinert, Kutz and Associates Hand Care Center, PLLC, and transplant surgeon Frederick R. Bentley, M.D., University of Louisville. Scott and Fisher will also be available to answer questions from the media.

Scott and Fisher's hand transplants are two of the twenty hands transplanted on sixteen patients around the world including France, Brussels, Italy, Austria and China. The Louisville team's patients continue to make medical history with only slight rejection episodes over the past few years, which were expected.

Scott, a New Jersey native, age 41 (birth date 3-31-61), is an instructor at Camden County College. Scott and wife, Dawn, have two young sons, Ian and Jeremy. He can use his new hand for everyday living activities including picking up his two sons, opening a car door, turning doorknobs, drinking from a glass, dialing a cell phone, writing his name and tying his shoes. Scott also has hot and cold sensation in the hand. He lost his dominant left hand on December 23, 1985 in a blast from an M80 firecracker accident.

Fisher, age 38 (birth date 8-27-64), and his wife, Sonya, are the parents of three boys and live in Jackson, Michigan. He is able to move his wrist, hand, fingers and thumb in various motions, can pick up and hold objects, drink from a glass and has sensation in his hand and fingers. In 1996, Fisher, a self-employed contractor, underwent amputation of his non-dominant left hand at the wrist as a result of a fireworks accident involving a three-inch mortar.

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. Warren C. Breidenbach, III, M.D. led a team of hand surgeons from Kleinert, Kutz and Associates to perform Scott and Fisher's hand transplants. The pioneering procedure is expected to greatly impact the future of transplantation and reconstructive surgery. Together, the partnership has supported the research initiatives of this innovative procedure along with other procedures to improve the quality of life for patients.

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