Double-hand transplant allows uncle to finally hold his niece's hand

Chris King at a rugby match (AAP)
Chris King at a rugby match (AAP)

A double-hand transplant patient says a lump welled in his throat as his young niece held his hand in the ocean.

Chris King, 57, lost both his hands apart from the thumbs in an industrial accident at his workplace.

He was overjoyed to be able to fulfill a promise to niece Charlotte to take her to the seaside.

"Charlotte kept saying 'Uncle Chris when are you going to grow some fingers? I told her: 'I will do one day love,'" Chris told UK tabloid the Daily Mirror.

"Then months after the operation we went to the seaside and she just slipped her little hand into mine without a word and we had a paddle in the sea at Scarborough.

"It was a really sweet moment and put a lump in my throat."

As well as making Mr King ambidextrous, he says the transplant has made him more confident.

"I shake hands all the time when I meet somebody and I wave at people instead of hiding my hands behind my back," he said.

Mr King's hands were completely flattened by an industrial metal-pressing machine. He says it took six minutes before he could be extricated from the machine by his colleagues. 

Chris King's hand transplant (AAP)
Chris King's hand transplant (AAP)

Mr King does not know who donated their hands for his transplant, but begs everyone to "please do it… The donor system is a perfect gift - a great gift to give."