Meet Zion Harvey, Your New Life Coach

by Maria Guido
Originally Published: 

Zion Harvey is the first child to receive a double hand transplant in the U.S.

When Zion Harvey was two, he suffered a life-threatening sepsis infection that led to multiple organ failure and amputation of his hands and feet. After two years of dialysis, he received a kidney from his mom, Pattie Ray.

Zion had more medical hardship than most of us have in a lifetime in the first few years of his life. That didn’t kill his spirit though. Last year he became the first child to receive a double hand transplant in the U.S. NBC News checked in with him to see just how he’s doing after the groundbreaking surgery.

“I will be proud of what hands I get,” he told NBC News. “I will be proud.”

“My grandmother says that if you push yourself, you can do anything you dream to do,” he says in the video, right before he’s shown doing push-ups, playing with blocks, and cutting with scissors — things most of us take for granted. “When I got my hands it’s like, here’s the piece of my life that was missing. Now my life is complete.”

When his mom Pattie Ray talks about him, you see the pride in her eyes, but you also see her strength. You can tell she’s fostered her child’s incredible spirit. The two are clearly a team, and seeing them together would make any mother’s heart overflow.

“One of the major concerns I have for him was him growing up and being able to do certain things and have that independence and not need me forever,” Ray explains. “But I need you,” counters Zion. “Without you I wouldn’t remember to do everything. That’s why I have you.”

“Without my mom, I would not be right here right now,” he says. Moms everywhere are sobbing into their coffee watching this.

“I’m very excited, because now I can do more than I imagined.” This is the spirit that we’re all made of, and what some of us work our whole lives to achieve; the ability to be thankful for everything we have and see our lives as unique adventures that we meet with excitement.

Zion Harvey is an amazing spirit, and wise well beyond his years.

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