American soldier Brendan Marrocco after double-arm transplant: ‘It feels amazing'

American soldier Brendan Marrocco after double-arm transplant: ‘It feels amazing'

Baltimore : MD : USA | Jan 29, 2013 at 12:36 PM PST
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 Double-Arm Transplant Recipient: Feels Amazing

A valiant American soldier who had lost all four of his limbs and recently underwent an amazing double-arm transplant, showed off his brand new arms before the media in Baltimore Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2013.

Beaming Brendan Marrocco, in-fact, pushed his wheelchair with his new arms, across a room at Johns Hopkins Hospital, telling reporters he had got a new lease on life.

NY Times quoting the excited 26-year-old said: “It’s a life-changing thing … It feels amazing. It’s something I was waiting for a long time.”

Marrocco even went on to add: “It gave me a lot of hope for the future ….I’m excited for the future.”

It was Dec. 18 that Marrocco got a new pair of arms after a team of surgeons from the John Hopkins Hospital performed the hospital's first successful bilateral arm transplant operation on him.

The Staten Island GI was injured when his unit was hit by an explosive fired projectile outside Baghdad, Iraq in 2009. His case of a double-hand transplant is only the seventh of such rare transplant ever conducted in the United States.

On Jan.18th, one month after receiving his new arms, he mentioned the transplant on Twitter and even posted pictures, "Ohh yeah today has been one month since my surgery and they already move a little."

It was Dr. W. P. Andrew Lee who led the surgical team in performing the extremely complicated, 13-hour operation on Marrocco. Dr. Lee said it will take more than one year to know how well the soldier will be able to use his new arms.

The world-renowned chief of plastic surgery from John Hopkins hospital, had earlier stated: "The maximum speed is an inch a month for nerve regeneration.” According to Dr. Lee they were looking at a time frame of a couple of years until the full extent of Marrocco’s recovery is known.

Marrocco had received his new arms and bone marrow from the same deceased donor. This was done so as to prevent his body from rejecting the new limbs and also have minimal medication to prevent rejection that could lead to organ damage and infection.

A statement from John Hopkins Hospital stated: “His transplants required the connection of bones, blood vessels, muscles, tendons, nerves as well as skin on both arms resulting in the most extensive and complicated limb transplant procedure to be performed in the US."

Today’s press meet isn’t Marrocco’s first public appearance. He has appeared several times after he was injured. There was a visit to the Sept. 11 memorial last year, where he bravely said he did not have any regrets about his military service.

"I wouldn't change it in any way ... I feel great. I'm still the same person," he declared optimistically. The American army sponsors transplant operations for its wounded troops. In Iraq and Afghanistan, approximately 300 or so have lost their arms or hands.

Watch Video: Double-Arm Transplant Recipient: Feels Amazing

Sources: NYPost/Sky News/ABC News

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Twenty-six-year-old Brendan Marrocco was the first soldier to survive losing all four limbs in the Iraq War, and doctors revealed Monday that he received a double-arm transplant on December 18 at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore
Nina Rai is based in Mangaluru, Karnataka, India, and is an Anchor on Allvoices.
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