Chiropractor Receives New Hands

YC alumnus is recipient of double hand transplant

Dr. Richard EdwardsDr. Richard (Rich) Edwards, 55, of Edmond, Oklahoma, was the recipient of the nation's third double hand transplant. The 17 1/2 hour innovative procedure took place on August 24-25 at the Jewish Hospital Hand Care Center in Louisville, Kentucky.

Edwards (YC class of ’76), made his living as a chiropractor before losing the use of both hands when his truck caught fire on February 11, 2006. Unable to escape the burning vehicle, he was severely burned on his face, back, arms and hands.

Since his injury, Edwards had multiple reconstructive surgeries and skin grafts, but remained with very little hand function. He requires assistance with all activities of daily living and is nearly completely dependent on his wife, Cindy, and others for help.

As Edwards saw his hands for the first time, he said, “Ooh, awesome. I am a blessed man.” He later added, “I feel very blessed and fortunate to be one of the few people chosen to have new hands. I just can’t believe I got this far and am so happy about it.”

Cindy, also from the class of 1976, said, “This is so exciting. I can’t believe it is a reality. The first time I saw his new hands, I just kept staring at them. I am so grateful and thankful to God.” She added, “I truly want to thank the donor family for their tremendous gift and we are praying to God to comfort them for their loss and pain.”

Dr. Edwards was a member of the YC Board of Trustees for many years and continues alongside his wife to be avid supporters of the college. The family at York College holds them both up in prayer and wish for a successful new beginning.

Click here for more updates and photos on this incredible story.

Click here to see a compelling video of Rich seeing his hands for the first time.

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