From Paris to Philadelphia: International Patient Receives Bilateral Hand Transplant at Penn Medicine

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It’s 3,705 miles from Paris to Philadelphia, and another 730 from Paris to Corsica, France – that’s where Laura Nataf was on vacation when she got the call. In the next 36 hours, Laura would travel more than 4,400 miles to Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania to receive new hands. The 28-year-old Parisian took one police escort and two plane rides to the United States for a bilateral hand transplant.

As the result of a collaborative effort between Penn Medicine, Paris Descartes University, and Gift of Life Donor Program, Laura is the first international patient to receive a double hand transplant in the United States, and is only the second adult to be transplanted at Penn Medicine.

“Laura represents not only the progress being in made in the field of bilateral hand transplantation and the advancements of Penn’s Hand Transplant Program, but she is living proof of our ability to collaborate with medical centers around the world to improve the quality of life of international patients, as well as those is the United States,” said L. Scott Levin, MD, FACS, chair of Orthopaedic Surgery, a professor of Surgery in the division of Plastic Surgery in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, and director of Penn’s Hand Transplant Program. “Our colleagues from Paris Descartes University brought Laura to us a few years ago for initial introduction, and we have been working to prepare for her procedure ever since.”

Read the full press release at:

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