ABC News 20/20 correspondent Juju Chang interviews reality television executive Jonathan Koch. Koch is the co-founder of Asylum Entertainment, the production company known for Beyond the Glory for FOX Sports, ESPN’s 30 for 30, and the 2011 series The Kennedys starring Greg Kinnear and Katie Holmes. Koch led a clean lifestyle — no smoking, no alcohol, not even coffee. So it was alarming when in January 2015 Koch’s organs began to suddenly fail.
Koch was eventually diagnosed with a rare and aggressive autoimmune disease called hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH). Koch was treated with chemotherapy and steroids but there was irreversible damage. Eventually, he had his left hand and fingers on his right hand, his right leg and the toes on his left foot amputated. Koch tells 20/20 that he relied heavily on his then-fiancée, now wife, Jennifer Gunkel.
Koch has since received a hand transplant, one of the first of its kind, by Dr. Kodi Azari. Dr. Azari tells 20/20 even he is surprised at Koch’s progress with physical therapy. On the show, Chang interviews Koch, Dr. Azari, and the donor’s family, among other family members and friends. 20/20 airs Fridays at 10pm on ABC.
Asylum Entertainment was purchased by Legendary Pictures in 2014 for reportedly more than $100 million. In June 2018, it was reported that Koch’s former business partner Steve Michaels, CEO of The Content Group (TCG), bought back Asylum Entertainment as sole owner. Koch is to return to work as chief strategic advisor at TCG.