[QODLink]
Americas

Double arm transplant for US soldier

First US soldier to survive losing four limbs in Iraq says he is "hopeful" after receiving a rare double arm transplant.
Last Modified: 30 Jan 2013 01:03
Al Jazeera's Rosiland Jordan reports on how the groundbreaking surgery is giving Marrocco a second chance at life

A retired US army sergeant who underwent a double arm transplant after losing both arms and both legs in Iraq has been discharged from the hospital, saying he was anxious to get back to an active life.

"I feel like I'm getting a second chance to start over"

- Brendan Marrocco, US soldier

Brendan Marrocco, 26, of New York, had the successful double arm transplant surgery six weeks ago at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore.

"I feel like I'm getting a second chance to start over," Marrocco said at a news conference on Tuesday.

"I'm just looking forward to everything I would have wanted to do over the last four years."

A roadside bomb attack in Iraq in 2009 cost him all four limbs.

"I hated having no arms," Marrocco said. "I was alright with having no legs."

Rare surgery

A double arm transplant surgery is rare, and doctors said this was the first such successful procedure to be conducted at Johns Hopkins.

Officials have said Marrocco is the first US soldier in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars to survive losing all four limbs.

Dr WP Andrew Lee, the surgeon who headed the transplant team, said although the surgery was successful, it will be a few years before Marrocco's nerves regenerate and he regains significant use of his arms.

"The progress will be slow, but the outcome will be rewarding," Lee said.

The rare surgery took 13 hours and involved 16 doctors who volunteered from plastic surgery, orthopedics and other disciplines, the hospital said.

It was largely funded by the US Department of Defence, with the remainder of the cost contributed by the hospital, according to Lee.

318

Source:
Al Jazeera and agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
An innovative rehabilitation programme offers Danish fighters in Syria an escape route and help without prosecution.
Street tension between radical Muslims and Holland's hard right rises, as Islamic State anxiety grows.
Take an immersive look at the challenges facing the war-torn country as US troops begin their withdrawal.
Ministers and MPs caught on camera sleeping through important speeches have sparked criticism that they are not working.
Featured
Anti-government secrecy organisation struggling for relevance without Julian Assange at the helm.
After decades of overfishing, Japan is taking aim at increasing the number of bluefin tuna in the ocean.
Chinese scientists are designing a particle-smashing collider so massive it could encircle a city.
Critics say the government is going full-steam ahead on economic recovery at the expense of human rights.
Spirits are high in Scotland's 'Whisky Capital of the World' with one distillery thirsty for independence.
join our mailing list