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World’s first hand transplant patient dies aged 69 after undergoing the pioneering surgery in 1998 

World’s first hand transplant patient dies aged 69 after undergoing the pioneering surgery in 1998

  • Clint Hallam, 69, who received the world’s first ever hand transplant, has died  
  • British surgeon Professor Nadey Hakim said he was sorry to hear of Clint’s death
  • Prof Hakim was part of the team who performed the surgery in Lyons in 1998
  • Surgery saw surgeons attach the hand of a man who died in a motorbike crash


The man who received the world’s first hand transplant has died.

Clint Hallam, 69, passed away in the French city of Lyons, where he underwent the pioneering surgery in 1998.

British surgeon Professor Nadey Hakim, part of the medical team who attached the hand of a man who had died in a motorbike accident, paid tribute to his patient. 

Clint Hallam (pictured), 69, passed away in the French city of Lyons, where he underwent the world’s first hand transplant in 1998

He said: ‘Anyone who is a pioneer like Clint has to be admired for being the first to have a new medical procedure. I am sorry to hear of his death.’

Mr Hallam told medics that he lost his hand in a domestic accident, but it later transpired he was a white-collar fraudster and it was severed when he fell on an electric saw while in prison in his native New Zealand.

Four months after the operation, Mr Hallam gave an exclusive interview to The Mail on Sunday, where he proudly showed off his ability to hold a pint of beer in a pub and play the piano.

However, he had difficulty adapting to his new hand and a refusal to take his medication resulted in his body rejecting it.

The hand was removed by surgeons in 2001.

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