Hollywood exec's road to recovery after hand transplant

Jonathan Koch suddenly became gravely ill, but determined to fight, he pulled through and built up his strength to undergo a remarkable surgery.
5:42 | 09/05/17

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Transcript for Hollywood exec's road to recovery after hand transplant
After 17 hour surgery Jonathan Koch emerging with new left hand. It was Jennifer's birthday when I got out of surgery and she said I just want one thing for you to move one of your fingers and I didn't think there was any chance I could but I thought about it and it moved. That's amazing. For the rest of the day any time anybody came to the room, doctors, nurses, friends, family, he go, ah. Soon as we walked into Jonathan's room he gives me the old thumb's up like the fonze I'm like this guy is absolutely perfect. And doctor also thought the surgery was perfect. The team of 24 nurses and doctors from competing hospitals successfully attaching the donor hand to jonathans. Will I be able to play the piano after the surgery. But the recovery was far more treacherous than anticipated. What was the toughest part. My mind wasn't right when I woke up. I wasn't breathing right as everyone wanted me to. I was telling Jennifer I am drifting away and I can't get back and control what's happening with me. It sound liekz that's the first time self-doubt crept into your mind. Yeah. It wasn't I walk in the park. No. All of the work I had done since getting home with Scott, with the wheelchair and crawling on my elbows and knees all of the thing things I did to rebuild myself they came right back into play having trying to make sense of the hand transplant. But ever the fighter Jonathan soldiered on. One weekend he's gripping a tennis ball and throwing it. What! Next thing you know he picks up a glass of water and takes a drink and he goes ah! You tooel fierce and powerful. You just do. When I grabbed the bottle and was able to hold it, even though it was pretty shaky I was like I feel fierce and powerful. This is an incredible feel. . Moving by movement, grip by grip, thrilling milestones have got him giddy. He has met or exceeded all of my expectations I told him two years before he ties his shoelaces, two months later he's tieing his shoelaces. Total cost hundreds of thousands of dollars covered not by insurance but by UCLA in the name of research that could help so many others. This feels good. I bet it does. It does. Now within reach, moments like learning to drive again. Here we go. Whoa. We're out of here. On the open road. It really did liberate him. Now he has the confidence and he's ready to drive again. Couldn't tie his shoe before, now he can do that. He couldn't button things before. It helps with hygiene and taking care of yourself in that way. Was it worth it, all of the pain and rehab everything for the transplant. 100% worth it. Would do it again. Would tell everybody to do it. You can't imagine the change in my life as I regain my Independence. He's just now begun to regain a sense of temperature differentiating between hot and cold. And even bigger triumph S it was his dream to play tennis again with his daughter Ariana. The racket now he uses with his left handed. What's tennis mean to you. I just love the competition. I love to play hard as I can, as well as I can, when it's over with no matter what happens it's been an incredible experience and once in a while you catch lighting in a bottle in a tennis match and it's everything you have add I love that. How good have you gotten with your new hand? I'm not great. So you're saying I have a chance. Definitely a chance. I do that too. I'm still working on that. It's not as difficult as I thought it would be. It's just going to take repetition. I thought I was out of here. Good play. Good job. What else have you been working on. Now the man whoany describe is a hard-charging workaholic whose life was road mapped by a Hollywood movie looking for other stories. That's great we should crack some of those. Including his own to inspire others. If your life story or this last chapter were in a pitch meeting what kind of story is it, triumph over adversity, a love story? You could name it all it's triumph ofhe human spirit not just my standpoint by my friends who rallied so hard and just the amount of love and prayers and all of those thing that's were coming to me that, you know, I could actually feel them. I felt lifted up by them. I know how many people were caring about me. Seven, eight, nine, 30. Want to the talk about fierce my girl is fierce. The next chapter of this story now left in Jonathan's capable hands. Five, six, seven and nine, beauty. Good job duty.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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