Things Got Real When a Reality TV Exec Lost His Hand

Jonathan Koch was told he was going to die, but he wasn't going without a fight
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 30, 2017 5:40 PM CDT
Updated Mar 31, 2017 2:30 AM CDT

(Newser) – "It’s more attractive than the hand I used to have, so I’m getting a lot of attention." Los Angeles Magazine dives into two incredibly trying years in the life of "one of Hollywood's great closers" and "an indefatigable iron man" during which he nearly lost his life and did lose a hand before gaining a replacement for one and a new appreciation for the other. Reality TV producer Jonathan Koch woke up one morning in January 2015 covered in sweat, with freezing feet and painful knees. Within two days, the man nicknamed "Superman" for his tireless nature and commitment to fitness was hospitalized, being told by a doctor to "text everyone you love" because "you're probably going to die tonight."

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Koch was put into a medically induced coma while doctors—having no idea what was wrong with him—treated him for everything. His body was in septic shock, his limbs were turning gangrenous, and he was given a 10% chance to live. Over the next two-and-half weeks, Koch hallucinated a family of ghouls attacking him with snakes before finally hearing a voice that asked if he wanted to live knowing it would mean "the fight of your life." Koch—having survived an abusive father and made it in Hollywood despite arriving with nothing but $300 and his quickly stolen car—was ready. He came out of the coma, but the fight was just beginning. Koch lost his left hand, most of the fingers on his right hand, the toes on his left foot, and part of his right leg. Read the full story here to learn how Koch got a new hand and why he wants to be used as an example for future transplants. (Read more transplant stories.)

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