Scottish mum’s double hand transplant a UK first

BRAVE Corinne Hutton has said becoming the first person in the UK to have a double hand transplant will be a “dream”.

Corinne Hutton with her bionic hand. Picture: Hemedia

The Scottish mum-of-one had both hands and feet amputated last year after blood poisoning caused her vital organs to shut down.

It all started with a bad cough. But two days later she was in a coma, surrounded by her family who were told she would not make it through the night.

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She made a remarkable recovery and was fitted with a bionic left hand last week, which allows her to grip a wine glass.

Corinne, 44, who is now known as “bionic-mum” or “robo-mum” by her five-year-old son Rory, spoke of her excitement ahead of the procedure which is expected to take place in September.

She said: “It’s the dream of waking up with two hands that work. It’s fantastic. It’s absolutely amazing what they can do.

“I know that it carries risks and I’ve thought very carefully about all those risks. It has been quite a year. I thought I was fit, healthy and doing the right things, but then something like this just strikes you down.

“I went into hospital and within two to three hours my body had swollen up and my organs had started to shut down.

“My family was called and they were told through the night that I was only being kept alive until my younger brother arrived from Dubai. They were not expecting me to live.

“I’ve spent months and months learning to care for myself and look after my son Rory. I try not to look back. I don’t dwell on it too much.”

She was left fighting for her life in June 2013 after her chest infection turned out to be severe pneumonia which then entered her bloodstream.

Her chances of survival were put at just 5 per cent, a stark contrast to today when she is planning to run up the Rocky Steps in Philadelphia.

Doctors want to make sure she is psychologically strong enough to cope with seeing a stranger’s hands at the end of her arms.

“I’ve been told that it’s psychologically tough,” said Corinne.

“I like to think that I’d be grateful to whoever had given me those hands.”

She opened up about the traumatic moment that she was told how she would be losing both hands and feet.

“The doctors came in at 7.50am and the consultant led a team of around 10 people to my hospital bed,” said the mum from Lochwinnoch, Renfrewshire.

“One of them said: ‘Mrs Hutton will be losing her hands and feet’. That’s how brutally you hear something. I was on my own, my family were not there and I was not expecting to be told then.”

Her life was saved by a specialist team who travelled to Scotland from Leicester with an ECMO machine to oxygenate her blood.

She will become the second person in the UK to have a hand transplant, and the first to have both hands replaced.

Professor Simon Kay, who will lead the surgical team at Leeds General Infirmary, said: “I think the result will be exceptional.”

He added: “I think she’ll get very good function very quickly, and partly this is a tribute to the team in Glasgow who removed Corinne’s hands in a way that would facilitate transplantation later.”

It is expected to take around a year-and-a-half for Corinne to develop around 50 per cent movement in her hands following the double transplant.

Her older brother Davy, 46, said that he hoped this procedure would set a precedent and make the process easier for these types of transplants.

He said: “We have been working on it for a very long time. Corinne is a complete inspiration. She copes so well with her disability and she has been able to achieve so much.

‘When she was in the hospital we were all prepared and told that she would not live. I think now she realises that she has been given a second chance at life and she is living it to the full.

A charity called Finding Your Feet was set up following Corinne’s quadruple amputation to raise awareness and organise events.