Way to go! Zion Harvey, the first child in the world to have a double hand transplant, threw out the ceremonial first pitch at the Baltimore Orioles game on Tuesday, August 2.
According to ESPN, Zion, 9, needed to amputate his arms and legs because of a life-threatening infection at the age of 2. He underwent the more-than-10-hour double hand transplant at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia in July 2015. He later had a kidney transplant.
Zion, who is from Owings Mills, Maryland, dressed the part of a star athlete on Tuesday. Wearing his very own Orioles jersey and baseball cap, he stood on the mound and threw to outfielder Adam Jones, with the ball landing just a couple feet away from home plate.
Zion Harvey underwent the bilateral hand transplant procedure at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia last summer pic.twitter.com/7cAtLtEGMB
— Baltimore Orioles (@Orioles) August 3, 2016
Zion worked hard leading up to his big day. “He has spent the last year working to regain hand function,” the game’s announcer said, “and the ability to throw a baseball through rigorous hand therapy sessions.”
The Children’s Hospital documented Zion’s progress in a moving YouTube video in July 2015. “When I get those hands, I will be proud of the hands I get,” he said in the clip. “And if it gets messed up I don’t care because I have my family.”
His mom, Pattie Ray, also opened up about her brave son. “This is just another hurdle that he jumps. He’s jumped so many hurdles,” she said. “This isn’t the first amazing thing that he’s done. He’s done so many amazing things since he’s been sick. I don’t know many adults that can handle half of his life on a day-to-day basis.”
Watch Zion’s pitch in the video above!
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