Soldier Gets Two New Arms

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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.



  • soshaljustic

    I am thankful to him for his dedication in attempting this operation, and grateful to the family of the donor. I hope I will never need this operation, but acknowledge those people that do go through these needed surgical procedures ahead of the general public. Should I need this operation in my future I will know Johns Hopkins was there as was this gentleman, to do this work, and the surgical team and researchers that worked for my benefit. Thank you all!

  • Kim West


    First and foremost, thank you for serving our nation. I’m sorry you were injured and at the same time, thankful for the staff (and donor’s family of course) at JHH for having the knowledge, and wherewithal to choose you for the arm transplants. I believe you have what you need to stare down adversity and beat it back in times that challenge you more. Although we’ve never met, I’m so proud of you not only for serving our nation and for having what you need to face whatever it takes to rebuild your life and continue on. I’ve no doubt you will succeed. I invite you to visit our website/ post your stpry and pictures because I feel you will be an inspiration to others who serve and now face difficult challenges. Thank you again; may your recovery go well. Kim West, BSRN

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