A soldier who lost all four of his limbs in Iraq spoke publicly today after receiving a double arm transplant. Surgeons at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore performed the 13 hour surgery last month. Brendan Marrocco also received bone marrow from the same donor who supplied his new arms. That approach helps the body accept the new limbs. Doctors say it will take more than a year to know how easily Marrocco will be able to use his new arms. He lost his arms and legs in a roadside bomb in 2009.
Tuesday, Marrocco told reporters what he’s looking forward to the most.
“Driving. Absolutely driving. I used to love to drive. It was a lot of fun for me so I look forward to getting back to that and just becoming an athlete again. One of my goals is to hand cycle a marathon.”
Marrocco’s operation is only the 7th double hand or double arm transplant done in the United States. He says he’s grateful. At this point, he can move his left arm more easily than his right arm, but doctors say he should gain more mobility in the coming months.