LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The first-ever hand transplant recipient returned to Louisville on Friday for his annual check up, 22 years after the historic surgery.

Matthew Scott, from New Jersey, received a hand transplant at Jewish Hospital with Kleinert and Kutz Hand Center in 1999 during a groundbreaking surgery.

Scott, who was 37 when the surgery took place, lost his left hand at 24 during a fireworks accident.

Scott said he has about 55% function in his transplanted left hand, which is well-above the 25% functionality his prosthesis previously provided him.

"When we started this the surgeon told me, 'Matt, if we get a year out of this, if we get fives years, that's golden,'" Scott said. "Now, we're 22 years later and I cannot think of not having this gift that was given to me."

The Kleinert and Kutz Hand Center has performed 10 hand transplants since Scott's breakthrough surgery in 1999. 

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