Iraq War veteran Brendan Marrocco showed off his new arms at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore Tuesday, becoming the first soldier to receive a double arm transplant in U.S. medical history.
“It feels amazing,” he said. “It’s something I was waiting for for a long time. Now that it finally happened, I really don’t know what to say because it’s just such a big thing for my life. It’s just fantastic.”
The Fox News segment reported that 12 surgeons at Johns Hopkins worked simultaneously last month on the procedure.
The 26-year-old Marrocco, who lost all four of his limbs in a roadside bombing in 2009 and was the Iraq War’s first American quadruple amputee to survive, said he can’t wait to get back behind the wheel of his Dodge Charger.
“I used to love to drive,” he said. “It was a lot of fun for me. So, I am really looking forward to getting back to that and just becoming an athlete again.”
Because the nerves regenerate at the maximum speed of one inch per month, his therapy will continue for a few years, said Dr. W.P. Andrew Lee, the lead surgeon.
Lee said this surgery “was the most extensive and complicated” transplant surgery ever performed, involving the connecting of bone, nerves, blood vessels, muscles, and other tissue.