Nine-year-old Zion Harvey from Maryland is, hands down, one of the most amazing kids you’ll ever meet! He recently made medical history as the first child to have double hand transplant surgery!
When Zion was a toddler, his hands and feet had to be removed due to a bad infection. While he never let this stop him from doing just about anything, he and his parents always wanted him to have real hands.
Incredibly, the doctors at CHOP, The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, were able to help him! Last year, they performed the first ever hand transplant surgery on a child…Zion.
Where did Zion’s new hands come from? His new hands were donated by a family who was part of the Gift of Life Donor Program. The generosity of this amazing family helped make this miracle happen.
Since receiving his new hands one year ago, Zion has been hard at work. He has spent up to 8 hours a day in therapy! He focuses on doing exercises to strengthen his hands and improve the connection between his hands and his brain. None of this is easy!
His determination and hard work has paid off in amazing ways! In fact, Zion recently threw out the first pitch at a baseball game near his home in Baltimore, Maryland!
As he told CHOP, “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 Zion’s advice for other kids facing big challenges, as he told NBC News, “before you give up, try everything!”.
Learn more about Zion in these inspiring videos and then see how you can help other child amputees:
- Read more about Zion’s story at the CHOP website
- Watch other great IMK stories about children and adults that exhibit perseverance or who have special needs
- Read IMK’s list of great quotes for kids about the importance of hard work and doing your best
Topics for Discussion:
- What character traits does Zion exhibit?
- How would you describe Zion’s attitude and what role has it played in his life?
- What is one lesson you can learn and apply in your own life from Zion?
- Think about a big goal that you have. It could be for school, for family, or any other important area of your life. Write it down, using this goal worksheet or create your own worksheet. Keep track of your progress, stick with it and reward yourself when you have completed it. Keep doing this and you will be surprised at how much you can achieve.
- Consider holding a fundraiser to support the International Child Amputee Network