Indiana Man Latest to Receive Hand Transplant in Louisville

Feb 17, 2012

Surgeons at Louisville’s Jewish Hospital have performed another hand transplant. Fifty-six year old Ronald Thurman of Marion, Indiana became the eighth recipient of a hand transplant at Jewish in a 15-and-a-half hour operation that ended early Thursday morning.

Thurman lost his right hand in a 2003 farming accident.  

The donor was a 22 year old Texas man who died following a car accident.   Jenny Jones with Kentucky Organ Donor Affiliates says the man’s family honored his wishes to donate not only his hands, but his heart, liver and other organs to patients in need.

"A lot of times we don’t have conversations with our loved ones about what we want to do after our death, because we don’t like to think about that, "said Jones. "But this young man got on the Texas donor registry, so when he passed away his family knew what he wanted to do, they knew it was his decision."

Doctors say hand recipient Ronald Thurman is doing well and will soon be fitted with a brace to aid in his physical therapy.