Scaffolder Receives Life-Changing Double Hand Transplant After Devastating Accident

Jamie Mines on BBC Breakfast, credit: BBC

A scaffolder who lost his hands and legs in a horrific building site accident underwent a miraculous double hand transplant. 

Jamie Mines, 38, shared his experience in a new documentary series, “Saving Lives in Leeds,” which premiered on BBC Two earlier this month.

Mines was placed in an induced coma in December 2016 after being electrocuted by 33,000 volts while working beneath powerlines in Swindon. Medics amputated four of his limbs to save his life. 

The father of two described the ordeal to the BBC, saying the electricity “fried” him and that he was surprised to have survived.

After learning about the possibility of hand transplants, Mines contacted Dr. Simon Kay, who performed the rare and complex double operation. Dr. Kay praised Mines’ progress, noting that he had already regained grip strength just a year after surgery. He also emphasised the importance and generosity of limb donations, calling it an “enormous, courageous, generous thing to do.”

To make his new hands feel more like his own, Mines decided to tattoo them. After his recovery, the former semi-professional footballer first held his children’s hands while walking them to school.

Mines, originally from Bradford on Avon, hopes his story will raise awareness about limb donations. He believes that if more people knew about the possibility of donating limbs, they might consider it as a life-changing gift for someone in need.

“Saving Lives in Leeds” follows the daily lives of medical staff working in hospitals across the city. The first of eight episodes, focusing on neurosurgery and transplant patients at Leeds General Infirmary, aired earlier this month and is available to view on BBC iPlayer.