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  • Writer's pictureJulie Manley

Canada's first hand transplant

This is a pretty amazing story about a woman who had a forearm and hand transplant this past January. Here are some quick clips from the story reported on

-Maryam Zolfi's left arm was severed below the elbow in a car accident.

-While many hand transplants had been done in the U.S. since the first in that country was performed in 1999 — more than 100 have been completed worldwide — Canadian doctors had not yet attempted the operation.

-Doctors at Toronto Western Hospital were looking for a candidate for what would be the country's pioneering foray into the complex surgery.

-On Jan. 7, a team of 18 surgeons began what would be a 14-hour operation to attach the forearm of a deceased female donor whose age, skin colour, size and blood type were a match for Zolfi.

-Five months later, Zolfi has sensation and movement in her new forearm, and she's starting to get both in her hand and thumb.

"I can move my fingers. I can hold a cup in my hand or I can pick up and drop something," she said, demonstrating with the word "my" how much the donor limb has been integrated into her psyche.

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