No Christmas Homecoming For Edmond Double-Hand Transplant Patient

Tuesday, December 21st 2010, 3:17 pm
By: News 9

LOUISVILLE, Kentucky -- A double-hand transplant patient who'd hoped to be back in Oklahoma for Christmas will have to spend the holiday in Kentucky.

Surgeons said Tuesday they had to remove some dead tissue from Dr. Richard Edwards' right hand. The dead tissue was caused by complications Dr. Edwards experienced in September when he lost blood flow to his pinkie and thumb.

Doctors said despite the setback, Dr. Edwards is doing very well.

"After losing blood flow in the right hand in September, it re-established blood flow and it is unbelievable how wonderful it is doing," said Dr. Warren Breidenbach. "I have never seen a hand lose blood flow and re-establish it before in my 26 years as a hand surgeon. This is truly one for the records. The right hand function has nearly caught up with the left hand."

Because of the complication, Dr. Edwards will have to stay close to Jewish Hospital in Louisville, Kentucky. He will spend Christmas with his son's family in Paducah, then return to Louisville. Dr. Edwards had hoped to return to his home in Edmond for the holiday. Surgeons said if all goes well, Dr. Edwards will be back in Oklahoma for the New Year.

Dr. Edwards underwent more than 17 hours of surgery in August. He was the third person in the nation to have a double-hand transplant. Dr. Edwards worked as a chiropractor before losing both hands in a fire in February 2006.