By Lok Yi Chan
Richard Mangino lost his arms below elbows and legs below the knees in 2002. Since then he has been using prostheses to pursue his passion in painting and drawing.
However, none of his interest can be compared with the dreams to touch his young grandchildren.
Last week Mangino received a rare two-hands transplant at Boston’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Reuters reported. He is now one giant step closer to make his dreams come true.
The operation took a team of more than 40 surgeons, nurses and support staff over 12 hours to complete, according to Fox news.
“First I must express my deep gratitude to the donor family. They are, and always will be, in my prayers,” Mangino said in a press conference released by the hospital. “My family and I grieve for the loss of your loved one. I am humbled and overwhelmed with emotion. Thank you for this incredible gift.”
Many people has called him a miracle, but Mangino said in the press conference that the real miracle happened when he received the hands transplant.
“[T]he one miracle I have prayed for, since my oldest grandson Trevor was born, was to be able to feel the sense of touch again … To touch his and Nicky’s little faces, and stroke their hair, and to teach them to throw a ball,” He remarked. “To me, that would be a miracle. And today, my miracle has come true.”
According to the hospital,consent for the donation of the hands was obtained by New England Organ Bank staff after conversations with the donor family. The donor’s name remained anonymous.
More Mangino’s remarks and video footage of his interviews can be obtained on the hospital’s website.