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September 23rd, 2011
10:06 AM ET

Human Factor: Two beautiful hands

In the Human Factor, we profile survivors who have overcome the odds. Confronting a life obstacle – injury, illness or other hardship - they tapped their inner strength and found resilience they didn't know they possessed. This week, meet Sheila Advento, a young woman who had to have both hands  and feet amputated after a bacterial meningitis infection in 2003.

Wow! It has been a year since undergoing hand transplants - and a truly remarkable year. I lived a life as a quadrilateral amputee for seven years, and then I received a blessing - these two beautiful hands, which I see every day from the moment I wake up until I go to sleep.

The idea of a possible hand transplant was embedded in me almost instantly following the amputation of my hands (by a plastic surgeon at Hackensack University Medical Center). The idea stayed with me. However, hand transplantation was not - at all - something I thought of from the very beginning of my journey. You see, it all started in 2003 when I got very ill.
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About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.

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