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Fourth Hand Transplant Recipient Heads Home to California
Date:10/15/2008

Thanks Donor Family for New Hand

LOUISVILLE, Ky., Oct. 15 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Dave Robert Armstrong, the nation's fourth hand transplant recipient headed home yesterday (Oct. 14) to Upland, California, after a three month stay in Louisville. Armstrong received a new right hand during a 14-hour surgical procedure performed by Kleinert, Kutz & Associates and University of Louisville hand surgeons on July 12, 2008 at Jewish Hospital.

"I just want to thank the donor family," says Armstrong. "Without their kindness this would have never happened. The miracle of everything working is awesome."

Armstrong's wife, Regina, and son, Christian, joined him in Louisville for his last week in town. They all flew home together yesterday.

"Dave's progress has continued to be better than our previous patients," says lead hand transplant surgeon Warren C. Breidenbach, M.D., Kleinert, Kutz & Associates. "He can make a full fist and pick up a 35-pound crate. I am very pleased with his outcome so far."

Breidenbach added, "I too would like to thank our community for their support of the hand transplant program, Kentuckiana Organ Donor Affiliates (KODA) for being our partner in this program, and especially the donor family. They have given Dave an extraordinary gift of a new hand and we appreciate their special donation during a distressing time with the loss of a loved one."

Armstrong, an automotive manager, will continue to wear a brace on his new hand to allow the hand to completely heal and to control movement of the hand and fingers. He will continue hand therapy in California.

"Weekly biopsies performed on Dave's transplanted hand have shown no significant rejection," says lead transplant surgeon Kadiyala Ravindra, M.D., assistant professor of surgery at University of Louisville. "This is the first time we have seen this. The other three hand transplant patients performed here all had some type of rejection that required
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SOURCE Jewish Hospital
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