Double Arm Transplant Gives Hope to Soldier

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Doctors at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore performed a double arm transplant on 26-year-old Brendan Marrocco, an Iraq War veteran.

Surgeons took a donated arm and connected it to Marrocco's bone, muscle, nerve, and skin. They practiced the complicated surgery on dead bodies.

"The surgical team had rehearsed the procedure on cadaver arms four times in the last 18 months and the actual transplant was executed according to our design," said W.P. Andrew Lee, M.D., professor and chairman of the Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital.

"I really don't know what to say. It's such a big thing for my life. It's just fantastic," Marrocco said.

Doctors said the nerve in Marrocco's arm will regenerate one inch per month. He will eventually have full use of them.

Marrocco said he looks forward to driving again and plans to hand cycle a marathon.

The New Yorker is the only soldier to survive losing both arms and both legs and the first service amputee to undergo the transplant.

According to hospital officials, Marrocco is one of only seven people in the United States who have undergone successful double arm transplants.

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