Joe Kinan looked down at his left hand and ever so slightly wiggled his fingers.
“It hurts,” he said. He continued to wiggle them anyway, almost incredulous they were there at all.
Three weeks ago, they were not. On Oct. 7, in a 15-hour procedure, Kinan became the first person to undergo hand transplant surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital. He had lost both hands — and suffered other grievous burns — nearly a decade ago in The Station nightclub fire, an inferno that killed 100. Kinan spent nearly a year in hospitals after the fire and has endured at least 122 surgeries.
Friday, he spoke with a sense of reticence about life with a new hand. Kinan has a year of physical therapy ahead, and there is the risk his body could reject it.
“We’ll see how it goes,” the 43-year-old Kinan told reporters before leaving the Boston hospital. “I have a pretty tenacious attitude toward most things. . . . I’m hoping it doesn’t die.’’
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