The recepient, Paul Horner, was diagnosed with bone cancer five years ago, and was on the verge of death when he was approved for the controversial and possibly deadly operation.
Doctor Tom Downey, who was part of the South African team who carried out the operation, told CNN he is thrilled about the results. “It’s a massive breakthrough. We’ve proved that it can be done – we can give someone a brand new body that is just as good, or better, than their previous one.
The success of this operation leads to infinite possibilities.”
What's impressive about this feat is that while Dr. Sergio Canavero is carefully planning and garnering media attention for the first human head transplant, this report means he may not be the first.
|Dr. Sergio Canavero|
If you recall, in December 2014, the first successful penis transplant was also performed on a 21-year-old man by specialists from the University of Stellenbosch in South Africa (this followed a botched attempt by China to perform the same surgery).
In celebration, Dr Downey said, “This procedure is another excellent example of how medical research, technical know-how and patient-centered care can be combined in the quest to relieve human suffering.”
The operation took place on February 10, 2015 and the donor was a deceased 21-year old.
As expected, the surgery has stirred a lot of controversy with some doubting the authenticity of the surgery.