Sunday, March 9 2014 8:35 PM EDT2014-03-10 00:35:58 GMT
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LOUISVILLE, KY. (WDRB) -- The Linton, Indiana man who was the seventh person to receive a hand transplant at Jewish Hospital shared his story with students from Spalding University.
Donnie Rickelman hurt both hands in a factory accident in 1998. In July 2011, he underwent a 14 and a half hour transplant surgery.
Today's speech falls on National Organ Donation Day. "Organ donation is the most critical part of this," he said. "Everyone should be an organ donor. If they have questions, they need to ask them. It not only saves lives, it improves lives."
Rickelman is now able to perform normal tasks with his new hands, but is still going through therapy.