Give a man a fish and he'll eat for a day. Give a man hands to fish with, and he might catch a few. Give a man bionic water-resistant, motor-actuated, neurologically-activated 3D-printed hands, and he'll be pulling fish out of the water faster than you can say 'Save the whales'. Or so the saying goes. Sort of. You get the gist.
Hand transplantation isn't new. The first successful double hand transplant was back in 2000, performed on a brave Austrian policeman who had his bits blown off while trying to defuse a bomb (don't talk about red wires, he gets jittery). It's only recently that we've managed to pull it off in the UK, in Leeds, a city well known for it's cutting edge-ness. 16 years, Leeds. 16 years...
Having two new meat hooks slammed onto your elbows may sound like the most awesome life-changing, disability-dodging procedure that there could ever be, but it's not always a success. In fact, a chap in the good ol' United States actually wants his double transplants removed, stating that 'I can't do nothing with them'. Fair point. If the nerves and muscles don't re-attach properly, they're pretty useless.
We've come a long way, however. In the way-back-when, hand prostheses were just wooden or metal implements trussed up to the patients stump. You know, like Jaime Lannister off of Game of Thrones. You could always add useful things like a spoon or fork (or spork) to make everyday things easier, although not very useful for slaying kings. There are lots of examples of these kind of 'tools-for-hands' in history – Captain Hook from Peter Pan, Ash from the Evil Dead, and Chubbs from the film Happy Gilmore, to name but only the most important and famous. All of these people knew what joyous benefits could arise from having a limb replaced with something that actually works (I'd take a chainsaw over a spork any day). Of course, they only needed one hand replaced; just imagine how Star Wars would have ended if Luke Skywalker had needed two...
These days we might not need to transplant actual human fleshy bits anymore. Technology and stuff is advancing so fast that we can now scan your old useless hands, 3D print some new ones, whack in some servo-motors, et voila – perfect replicas.
No need for immune-crushing drugs and lengthy NHS operations. If you never had hands to start with, no problem: we'll just scan someone else's. These new fangled robotic limbs are even better than the real thing; not only can they function just like a human hand, they are stronger, more durable, more customisable and infinitely more T1000.
You can even do the iconic robotic thumbs up as you pretend to melt away as you're lowered into lava. The best part is that kids who need them get to have hands that can be changed as they grow up. And that deserves a massive robotic 3D-printed high five. Ouch!