BOSTON (CBS) – A survivor of the Rhode Island nightclub fire has become Mass General Hospital’s first hand transplant recipient.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Mark Katic reports

Joe Kinan suffered massive burns over his entire body in the nightclub fire and lost both of his hands.

A team of surgeons recently transplanted a left hand, giving Kinan a start toward a more normal life.

Dr. Curtis Cetrulo says hands are a delicate transplant.

“There are nerves and tendons, but you also need to provide a blood flow in and out of the extremities,” Cetrulo said. “So we sort of knock down those things one at a time.”

Kinan was released from the hospital on Friday. He still has months of therapy ahead of him, but is optimistic.

“It feels pretty good,” he said. “I’m confident that everything that has been done will continue to go smooth.”

Dr. Cetrulo says doctors will monitor Kinan to ensure his body doesn’t reject the hand but expects it to be fully functional.


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