California man is the fourth person to receive hand transplant - WDRB 41 Louisville News

California man is the fourth person to receive hand transplant

A 32-year old Upland California man hopes to eventually gain full use of his new transplanted hand.

Dave Robert Armstrong is the fourth person in the country to receive a hand transplant. All of the procedures have been performed at Jewish Hospital's hand care center.

Regina Armstrong, wife of hand transplant patient says, "He didn't talk much on the plane though and I just take it in stride take it as it comes that's all you can really do."

For more than a year the Armstrong family, Dave, Regina their and their 5-year-old son Christian have had their bags packed ready for the call to fly to Louisville from California. On Saturday in a 14-hour operation, Dave Robert Armstrong received a new right hand.

Christian Armstrong, son of hand transplant patient says, "He's doing somewhat ok he's just very tired very groggy of course he's in a lot of pain that's expected."

Regina encouraged her husband to undergo the still experimental surgery. She says, "Its something I probably talked him into doing I thought it would be something pretty awesome to do its an amazing thing that they're doing here I'm just like baffled because in California they don't do things like that."

Regina has been through this kind of experience before. 21 years ago at age 12, she received a heart transplant. Regina says, "If I can do it you can do it so a lot that he's going to be going through I can totally relate."

Now she and her son will be able stay in Louisville for 3 months while Dave Armstrong recovers from the operation and undergoes therapy with the hope of having full use of his transplanted hand like the previous hand transplant patients .

Dave Armstrong will remain in the hospital for another week to 10 days, and then will remain in Louisville for rehabilitation.

Dave lost his hand in a gun accident. He's taking a number of medications including a drug that will allow him to avoid the use of steroids which can cause complications.

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