Children are amazingly resilient creatures, who when challenged, constantly defy expectations, and become inspirational to all those around them, demonstrating a singular, prevailing message: with a little determination, anything is possible.
Case in point, Zion Harvey. When Zion was only two years old, a devastating infection required doctors to amputate his hands and legs to save the boy’s life. Despite this life altering setback, Zion quickly adapted to his new life, learning how to eat, write, and even play games on his mom’s phone, with his residual limbs. With prosthetic legs, Zion learned to walk, run and jump.
A Radical Idea
When Zion and his mom came to Philadelphia Shriners Hospital for Children to be fitted with prosthetic hands, the doctors thought Zion and his family had the strength, determination, and courage to try something radically different. A double hand transplant.
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Check out this amazingly inspirational video of Zion’s journey one year after his double hand transplant.
This incredibly rare procedure had never been performed on a child before. And the extensive surgery was only a small part of the battle. Zion would have to enduring grueling years of therapy. But Zion was up to the task.
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The Love of a Mother for Her Child
New hands bring new challenges for Zion, but the brave boy still faces the world with the same indomitable spirit he always has. His mom Pattie explained “He’s already done so many amazing things,” the extensive therapy of the transplant present “just one more hurdle he’s jumped.”
The relationship Zion has with his mother, Pattie, is just another level of inspirational depth to this story. Pattie has always been Zion’s biggest source of encouragement. “I believe he could have done anything without hands…” Pattie says “But now his light will shine even brighter. Whatever he is destined to do, it’s going to make it that much better. I know those hands are going to be used in great ways.”
“She’s the Best Mom I Ever Had.”
Zion’s mom has also given this little guy an extraordinary role model of courage and optimism to learn from. “I owe everything to my mom,” says Zion, quite articulately. “She helped me through the roughest times of my life.” Zion’s loving and tender mother, also taught him strength and independence. “My mom said ‘you have to learn to do it by yourself before you ask someone to do it for you.”
When asked how his life has changed now that he has hands, Zion said, “I’m still the same kid everybody knew without hands. But I can do everything now. I can do the same things even better.” And when asked if he had advice for anybody hearing his story, Zion said “Before you quit and say ‘I give up,’ try everything first.”
You can read more about Zion and his mom and his amazing double hand transplant here.