[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
More than one-quarter of Gaza's population has been displaced, causing a humanitarian crisis.
Ministers and MPs caught on camera sleeping through important speeches have sparked criticism that they are not working.
Muslim charities claim discrimination after major UK banks began closing their accounts.
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Featured
EU's poorest member state is struggling to cope with an influx of mostly war-weary Syrian refugees.
Study says tipping point reached as poachers kill 7 percent of African elephants annually; birth rate is 5 percent.
Zimbabwe's leader given rotating chairmanship of 15-member nation bloc a year after he won disputed presidential polls.
Government regulations and security fears are choking the once thriving industry in India-administered Kashmir.
Is fast-track deportation for 60,000 migrant children from Latin America obstructing due process?
join our mailing list