Man hurt in RI nightclub fire gets hand transplant

Posted: 10/09/12 at 10:50 am EDT      Last Updated: 10/09/12 at 4:49 pm EDT

BOSTON (WHDH) -- A Lakeville, Mass. man injured in a 2003 Rhode Island nightclub fire that killed 100 people received a single hand transplant in Boston.

Joe Kinan, 43, was among hundreds seriously injured in the Station club fire in West Warwick when stage pyrotechnics ignited sound insulation foam. He was severely burned and lost his left hand. Kinan spent nearly a year in the hospital following the fire. He has since endured more than 120 surgeries for severe burns and other injuries.

“The surgery went smoothly and physicians are cautiously optimistic about the patient’s prospects of gaining use of his new hand,” MGH said in a statement.

The complicated surgery began late Sunday and lasted into Monday morning.

He received the first ever hand transplant at Massachusetts General Hospital, showing operations that were once limited to our imagination are now a reality for more and more people.

Kinan’s neighbors in Lakeville expressed joy over his surgery.

“It’s amazing. It’s great to hear. Seems like a great guy and I’m very pleased for him. And it just goes to show one of the amazing things organ donors can do is make a difference in the life of someone struggling,” said Cory Arter, Kinan’s neighbor.

Since it is so soon after the surgery, MGH will not comment on Kinan’s prognosis or how long he is expected to be in the hospital.

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