A SCOTTISH mother will be the first to recieve a double hand transplant, due to be performed “any day” now.
Corinne Hutton, 44, lost her hands and lower legs to blood poisoning in 2013.
The mother-of-one said: “I think this is a hugely positive step by NHS England. A transplant will restore my life in so many ways.”
The £50,000 NHS operation has been approved by health bosses and is expected to help up to 20 people in the next five years.
The transplant will reconstruct the hand so that it looks and functions as normal. If successful, the new hand will be able to sense its surrounds and heal itself.
According to leading surgeons, Corinne is one of two patients who have already been “prepped” for surgery and are now waiting for a suitable donor.
Two others are under assessment for the operations, which follow the success of Britain’s first hand-swap patient, Mark Cahill, 53, from West Yorkshire.
After gout crippled his right hand, Mark successfully underwent surgery to attach a new one.
He now has almost total use of it meaning he is able to tie his shoelaces, carry his granddaughter and drive.
NHS patients will be the first in the world to benefit from the publicly-funded hand and arm transplant procedure.
Those who have had accidents or an infection will be eligible for the surgery.
Surgeons at Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust estimate that they will be doing two to four operations a year.
Team leader Professor Simon Kay said: “Double hand transplants have never been done in the UK. Four people are awaiting operations.
“We have two recipients prepped and they are ready and waiting next to their mobiles. As soon as we get a donor we are off - it could be any day now.”
The operation can take anywhere between six to twelve hours and involves titanium plates and screws put in place before tendons, muscles and blood vessels are connected.