BALTIMORE – An Iraq War veteran has made medical history by becoming the first double arm transplant survivor.
Retired Sgt. Brendan Marrocco underwent the innovative surgery six weeks ago at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. Surrounded by his team of doctors and his family on Tuesday, Marrocco said he felt like himself again losing all four of his limbs in a roadside bombing in Iraq four years ago.
“It’s almost like it never happened,” Marrocco said.
Marrocco said he had not lost his sense of humor. He said he can’t wait to drive his Dodge Charger SRT8 and play video games.
“Video games could be good rehab, alright? These are hands we’re talking about,” he said.
When asked if leg transplants were in the future, Marrocco said he was O.K. with not having legs. But he said he needed arms to be independent.
While the native New Yorker does not yet have full motion in his newly attached arms, he is using his hands to perform everyday tasks like tweeting.
Doctors said they expect Marrocco to make great progress, anticipating an inch of new nerve growth every month.
“I suspect he will be using his hands for just about everything as soon as we let him start trying to do more,” said Dr. Jaimie Shores of Johns Hopkins Hospital.