Canada’s first upper limb transplant patient shares her story

Almost six months after a landmark surgical procedure, Maryam Zolfi has shared her story about how the transplant procedure changed her life.

In 2005, Maryam’s life changed when her left arm was severed beneath the elbow in a devastating car accident. Three years later, the registered nurse was again at work, wearing a man-made arm that was once cosmetic however non-practical. She continued to search for an alternative treatment. Her journey led her to UHN.

In January 2016, a multidisciplinary team led by hand surgeon Dr. Steven McCabe, successfully completed Canada’s first transplant of the hand and forearm at Toronto Western Hospital. The combined expertise of the Hand and Upper Extremity Transplant Program and the Multi-Organ Transplant Program at UHN helped make this achievement possible.

During a procedure lasting approximately 14 hours, a team of 18 surgeons attached the forearm and hand matched from a donor to a patient who had been evaluated as a suitable candidate.

Today, Maryam is driving again, she cooks her own meals, and is able to do household chores — activities she never dreamed she would be able to do a decade ago.

“I am whole again.”

Read more about Maryam’s incredible story here.

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