Quadruple Amputee Gets Two New Hands on Life

Posted on 01/06/2013

Lindsay Ess was just 24 years old when an infection forced doctors to amputate her hands and feet. Four years later, she underwent a double hand transplant. Her story was recently featured on ABC's "Nightline." ASHT member Gayle Severance, who also serves on the ASHT International Committee, is featured performing therapy during the program. By JOHN DONVAN (@johndonvan) , MAX CULHANE and MARY MARSH Jan. 4, 2013 Photo from ABC News It's the simplest thing, the grasp of one hand in another. But Lindsay Ess will never see it that way, because her hands once belonged to someone else. Growing up in Texas and Virginia, Lindsay, 29, was always one of the pretty girls. She went to college, did some modeling and started building a career in fashion, with an eye on producing fashion shows. Then she lost her hands and feet. When she was 24 years old, Lindsay had just graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University's well-regarded fashion program when she developed a blockage in her small intestine from Crohn's Disease. After having surgery to correct the problem, an infection took over and shut down her entire body. To save her life, doctors put her in a medically-induced coma. When she came out of the coma a month later, still in a haze, Lindsay said she knew something was wrong with her hands and feet. "I would look down and I would see black, almost like a body that had decomposed," she said. The infection had turned her extremities into dead tissue. Still sedated, Lindsay said she didn't realize what that meant at first. "There was a period of time where they didn't tell me that they had to amputate, but somebody from the staff said, 'Oh honey, you know what they are going to do to your hands, right?' That's when I knew," she said. After having her hands and feet amputated, Lindsay adapted. She learned how to drink from a cup, brush her teeth and even text on her cellphone with her arms, which were amputated just below the elbow. "The most common questions I get are, 'How do you type,'" she said. "It's just like chicken-pecking." Read more at ABC News...