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Fifth U.S. Hand Transplant Patient Heads Home to NY
Date:2/17/2009

LOUISVILLE, Ky., Feb. 17 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The United States' fifth hand transplant recipient, Jan "Erik" Hondusky, is heading back home to Massena, New York this week after a three-month stay in Louisville under the care of Kleinert Kutz and University of Louisville surgeons.

(Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20090217/DC71832)

Kleinert Kutz and UofL hand surgeons performed the Hondusky's hand transplant at Louisville's Jewish Hospital Hand Care Center on November 24, 2008, during a record nine-hour surgical procedure. Warren C. Breidenbach, M.D., with Kleinert Kutz and University of Louisville assistant clinical professor of surgery, led the team of five hand surgeons, 10 hand fellows and a two-member anesthesiology team from Hand Care Center Anesthesia.

"I cannot wait to get home and pick up my granddaughter with two hands and give big two-handed hugs to all my family and friends, said Hondusky. "This has been an awesome event in my life and I have made many new friends here in Louisville. I cannot thank everyone enough -- the doctors, nurses, therapists, donor family and others who have helped me here in Louisville."

The New York resident is a 43-year-old production worker who injured his dominant right hand in a furnace accident on April 12, 2006, when his hand was crushed and burned thus requiring amputation. He used a prosthetic hand to perform daily living activities before the transplant procedure.

Lead hand transplant surgeon Dr. Breidenbach said, "Erik continues to work on mobility exercises and strengthening the muscle groups in the hand and arm using light weights. Functional activities for grasping, releasing and pinching continue to improve, as well. He can perform such daily living activities as washing his hair with both hands, hol
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SOURCE Jewish Hospital
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