You’ve Got to Hand it to Him…

A former pub landlord (presumably not Al Murray) became the first man in the UK to receive a hand transplant following an 8 hour operation in Leeds – hopefully at one of their hospitals, but you never know.

I can only imagine that the former landlord had been drinking when he came up with the idea, but nonetheless the surgeon who conducted the operation should be given a pat on the back… and a big hand…

The operation was conducted once a suitable donor had been found, which happened around Christmas time and led to the former landlord been given the unusual Christmas present of a hand transplant – which surprised him, because he’d only asked for some socks and a DVD…

The surgeon then amputated the recipient’s hand and attached the donor hand in an operation that he described as ‘quite challenging’ – the understating surgeon in question then continued and described Usain Bolt as ‘fairly fast’ and Justin Bieber as ‘a bit annoying’.

I don’t know a massive amount about organ donation (I don’t have one, but if I die then my piano is available) and I am happy for my body to be mashed up and used in kebab meat in the event that I pass away – in my wallet I carry one of those doner cards…

But in all seriousness, whilst you can sign-up to be a donor of your kidneys and your liver, I don’t recall seeing the tickbox asking you to donate a hand – so quite how the donor ended up quite literally ‘giving someone a hand’ is beyond me…

That said, the former pub landlord isn’t the first person in the world to undergo this operation as it has been done in other countries previously – in 1986, Diego Maradona underwent a transplant and the Hand of God was fused onto his wrist.

In addition, in Australia during the early 1990’s the hands of a koala were mistakenly transplanted onto a human – the recipient was fuming and said he would personally track down the surgeon and kill him… with his bear hands if needs be…

Whilst the above joke is all a bit of ‘armless fun; it should be worth noting that the whole operation involved connecting up the donor/recipient bones with metal plates and then connecting up the blood vessels, tendons and nerves – so it’s a bit like rewiring the world’s most complicated and blood-drenched plug.

Hopefully the transplant for the former landlord will be a success and apparently the early signs are strong. This hasn’t always been the case as the first recipient of a hand transplant later had the hand removed after he claimed that it felt like a dead man’s hand – which is a fair point given that it probably was.

There were also accusations that by having the hand removed the recipient was sticking 2 fingers up at the pioneering surgeon – something which the recipient denied… as he wasn’t able to do that…

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