from the Naples Herald by Gary Levine
Zion Harvey…an archetypal eight-year-old in so many ways…yet wistfully distinctive in so many others…was the recipient, last week, of a gift like no other.
As a toddler (age 2), Zion horrifically lost both hands and both feet to Sepsis…a life-threatening complication from infection. Two years later, the infection severely damaged his kidneys and required a kidney transplant…the organ donated by his mother, Pattie Ray.
Despite unimaginable misfortune, Zion is bursting with bravura…with determination…with a gutsiness that most could never muster.
Approximately three years ago, Pattie began the search for prosthetic hands for her son. She approached Dr. Scott Kozin, Chief of Staff at Shriners Hospital for Children in Philadelphia who, along with his partner, Dr. Dan Zlotolow, offered a far more progressive suggestion…Vascularized Composite Allotransplantation…make Zion the youngest recipient of a bilateral hand transplant.Zion has already been successfully fitted for prosthetics for his feet and utilizes them to the fullest.
Drs. Kozin and Zlotolow referred Pattie and Zion to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Hand Transplantation Program…led by Dr. Scott Levin.