Clint Hallam (born in New Zealand) was the first recipient of a human hand transplant. Hallam lost his hand in a circular saw accident at Rolleston prison in 1984, where he was incarcerated after a fraud conviction. The original reattachment of the severed limb failed, and he had his hand amputated.
A surgery team led by Australian Earl Owen and Frenchman Jean-Michel Dubernard transplanted a new hand on 23 September 1998 in a 13-hour long operation in Lyon, France. After an initial period of two years during which he had no motor control of the transplanted hand, Hallam voluntarily stopped taking immunosuppressive drugs. The transplanted hand was amputated on 3 February 2001 by Nadey Hakim.
Hallam had a reputation for not taking his medicine regularly, nor was he performing the exercises required to build strength and motor capabilities.
- "A Pioneering Transplant, and Now an Ethical Storm" New York Times, December 6, 2005