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My New Hand

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Take a few deep breaths before watching this film, which follows the first British hand transplant, conducted at Leeds General Infirmary last year. The scenes of the eight-hour operation itself are incredibly impressive, but also disturbingly strange. We delve into the emotions involved, too, seeing four would-be recipients, who have all dealt with the trauma of losing limbs and are now hoping they can become the first Brit with a transplanted hand, thanks to micro-surgeon Simon Kay.


In December last year, a team of surgeons at Leeds General Infirmary led by Professor Simon Kay carried out Britain's first hand transplant, on 51-year-old Mark Cahill from West Yorkshire. This documentary, filmed over two years, follows the story of the operation, as potential patients from across the nation and beyond are assessed, both physically and psychologically, to ensure they are suitable. Some of them are then dissuaded by the drawbacks, which would include a lifetime of drugs to stop their bodies rejecting the donor hand, while others decide the potential benefits outweigh the risks involved.

Cast & Crew

Director Christian Hills
Executive Producer Andrew Sheldon
Producer Christian Hills


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