(TIME) In medicine, someone always has to be first. Seven years ago, that person was Jeff Kepner, now 64, who became the first person to receive a double hand transplant in the United States.
The milestone made headlines: “A Touching Tale of a Life Changed,” read one from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. But Kepner’s transplanted hands have never worked, and today they remain completely non-functional. If he could, Kepner says he would have them removed, he tells TIME in an exclusive interview.
“From day one I have never been able to use my hands,” he says. “I can do absolutely nothing. I sit in my chair all day and wear my TV out.”
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