World first double hand swap gave me a new grip on life

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The former roofer had been crippled with painful scleroderma – a rare autoimmune disease that left his old hands curled into fists and made even simple tasks impossible. But they have now been replaced in what is believed to be the first double hand transplant for someone suffering with the condition.

And, as our pictures show, Steven can now get himself a drink, open doors, use his mobile and give his dog Skye a cuddle.

At first he dismissed the idea of having the surgery.

He said: “I laughed and thought that’s a space age kind of thing.”

But after talking more with medics and his wife, the dad-of-three went ahead with it, despite the risks.

Steven, of Dreghorn, Ayrshire, said: “They were open about what might happen – that I could lose my hands altogether.”

The transplant in December and his follow-up care involved 30 medics in Leeds and Glasgow who hailed it “a huge team effort”.

Grateful Steven said: “These hands are amazing. As soon as I woke up from the op I could move them. The pain before was horrendous.But I’ve no pain now.”

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