A Massachusetts man who had a double hand transplant says the first thing he wants to do is touch his grandsons' faces and stroke their hair.
"To touch their hair and teach them to play guitar, that would be a miracle," said Richard Mangino, of Revere. "And today my miracle has come true."
Mangino lost his arms below the elbows and legs below the knees after contracting sepsis in 2002.
Last week, a team of more than 40 surgeons, nurses and support staff at Boston's Brigham and Women's Hospital worked for more than 12 hours performing a bilateral hand transplant.
At a news conference Friday, the 65-year-old Mangino said he feels like a bird who has suddenly regained its wings.
"It's just like you can fly. It's like having wings. It's like a bird without wings and all of a sudden, you have your wings back."
Doctors said it will take months for Mangino to regain sensory function.
The donor's name was not made public.
The hospital performed its first double hand transplant on May. Several other U.S. hospitals have performed similar operations.
With reporting by The Associated Press and the WBUR Newsroom
This article was originally published on October 14, 2011.
This program aired on October 14, 2011. The audio for this program is not available.