Occupational therapy helps New Jersey double-hand transplant patient's recovery
A New Jersey woman who made history when she became the first woman in the United States to receive a double-hand transplant is thriving thanks in part to a team of professionals with occupational therapy jobs.
Sheila Advento underwent the 12-hour surgery last fall at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center after losing both hands and legs to a severe bacterial infection seven years ago, according to CBS2 New York.
Advento has spent the last four months living in Pittsburgh as her occupational therapists increased her rehabilitation to five hours a day, six days a week, all paid for by the medical center.
Kim Zeske-Maguire, a professional with an occupational therapy job at Pittsburgh's Centers for Rehab Service told the news source that it was a difficult process.
"It's real hard to get her hands straight unless I bend her wrists, so we do a lot of stretching," Zeske-Maguire told the news agency.
Hospital officials said it's important to note that transplant patients have to make a lifelong commitment to therapy maintenance and follow-up.
Advento has written a book called "A Life Reclaimed" and before her recent surgery spent time speaking to amputee support groups.
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