Jessica Arrigo always wanted to learn how to crochet. It was a lifelong dream. Sounds like a simple task but it was made significantly harder by the fact that she had lost both of her hands to an infection. So, when Arrigo received a hand transplant, one of the first things that she learned how to do was how to crochet.
I learned about this story while reading an ABC News story about a dual hand transplant that was recently completed at the University of Pennsylvania. The woman who received that transplant wanted to remain anonymous so the story’s researchers interviewed Arrigo who received a hand transplant about a year ago at the University of Pittsburgh.
Arrigo had lost both her hands and both of her feet due to an infection in her bloodstream. She has to do extensive physical therapy to keep her new hand working well but she’s happy to have it. In addition to learning how to crochet, she has learned how to fly an airplane and celebrates being able to hold her toddler daughter.
As far as the crochet goes, it was something that she had wanted to learn before she had lost her hands. She presumably never got around to taking the time to learn. Once she had the transplant, she probably realized that she shouldn’t ever put these things off that she wants to do!
I would guess that the repetitive motion of crochet is actually good for her hand. It’s a great form of physical therapy for people who are working to develop their hand skills. I’d love to see what she’s been making!