Britain's first hand transplant man has been helping the first person in the UK to receive a DOUBLE hand transplant.
Mark Cahill, who in 2012 became the UK’s first man to receive a hand transplant, has been advising Chris King, the country’s first person to have both hands replaced.
Since receiving his new hand Mark, from Greetland, has been advising other people on a hand transplant waiting list at Leeds General Infirmary where the operations take place.
Chris, from Doncaster, lost both hands apart from his thumbs in a metal pressing machine accident at work three years ago.
But earlier this week Chris, 57, gained a new pair via state of the art surgery – and he already has some movement in them.
Mark, a former pub landlord, advised Chris on the pros and cons of having such a transplant.
The Leeds clinic has four people waiting for single or double hand transplants.
Mark, 55, said: “Most of them are fairly committed to having it done.
“The cons are the anti-rejection tablets you have to take which can have side-effects.
“I do the advice voluntarily and I do enjoy doing it.”
Mark saw an elated Chris in hospital yesterday following his operation.
“I had half an hour talking to Chris about it. The next thing, he went away and had his operation,” Mark said.
“He’s doing fine and he’s in good spirits.”
“He’s got a bit of movement in them.”
Mark added: “Obviously, I’ve become friends with him because we’re in an exclusive club.
“Chris is very easy to talk to and he’s a nice guy.”
Finding a donor is no easy matter, particularly as the hand has to look right as well as work.
Mark, who used his new hand to save his wife Sylvia from a heart attack, said: “I waited six weeks for my hand. Chris waited for six months.
“There’s no point having a big man’s hand on a woman.
“It’s the donors we need and it’s such a difficult question to have to ask a family at a very difficult time.
“Everybody should be registered as a donor automatically. People should have to opt out rather than opt in.”