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  1. ITV Report

UK's first double hand transplant patient is looking forward to trimming his hedge and holding a beer

Chris King is the first person in the UK to have had a double hand transplant.

Britain's first double hand transplant patient said he is most looking forward to trimming his hedge and holding a bottle of beer.

Chris King, 57, who lost both his hands except his thumbs in a metal pressing machine accident at work, said he felt "whole again" after the operation.

He is the second person to have a hand transplant at at specialist centre at Leeds General Infirmary and the first in the country to have both hands replaced.

He said they look "absolutely tremendous" and he has already had some movement.

"It's better than a lottery win because you feel whole again," he said, adding that he will celebrate by holding a bottle of Timothy Taylor's and ditching his "Full Monty Velcro" shirts he has had to use.

He said he is looking forward to wearing shirts with real buttons - the ones he wears at the moment have fake buttons and velcro strips - and having a bit of style.

I could shout from the rooftops and celebrate it big-time, which is what I'm going to do.

A bottle of Timothy Taylor's - that's what I can't wait to get back for.

– Chris King
Consultant Plastic Surgeon Professor Simon Kay who performed the UK's first double hand transplant at Leeds General Infirmary, with patient Chris King. Credit: PA

King, from Doncaster, lost his hands in the accident three years ago and had resigned himself to living an adapted life.

But when Professor Simon Kay at Leeds General Infirmary introduced him to Mark Cahill, the first person to have had a hand transplant in the UK in 2012, he was encouraged to have the operation.

They have since become good friends - exclusive members of a club of two that is looking for more members, he added.

"We'll shake hands one day. It's wonderful stuff," he said.

They're my hands. They really are my hands. My blood's going through them. My tendons are attached. They're mine. They really are.

I can't wait to get all this (the bandages) off and look at them properly.

It was just like the hands were made-to-measure. They absolutely fit. And it's actually opened a memory because I could never remember what my hands looked like after the accident because that part of my brain shut down.

– Chris King

He has returned to work at Eaton Lighting in Doncaster where the accident happened and said the firm has been "brilliant" in supporting him.

Professor Kay's team currently has four more people on the waiting list.

King stressed the importance of people stepping forward as potential donors and become emotional when asked about the person who helped him.

He said: "It's marvellous. It's like somebody putting an arm round you and saying you'll be alright. It's difficult to say thank you."

No details of the donor, who gave his upper limbs and other organs, has been released but his family released a statement:

Our brother was a kind, caring and considerate person who would have given the shirt off his back to help somebody in need.

Learning that he had registered as an organ donor made our decision to support him donating so much easier.

We are pleased that the double hand transplant operation was able to go ahead, and all of our family send our best wishes to the recipient.

– Family statement of donor