Army veteran who lost all four limbs in Iraq gets two new arms after pioneering double arm transplant surgery

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

Surgeons at Baltimore’s John Hopkins Hospital released images of Brendan Marroccoss staggering operation

A US army veteran has had a double arm transplant after losing all four limbs in a roadside bomb-blast in Iraq.

Surgeons at Baltimore’s John Hopkins Hospital released images of Brendan Marrocco’s staggering operation yesterday, ahead of a press conference at which Marrocco himself spoke.

The 26-year-old said he is now looking forward to driving and swimming, adding: “I just want to get the most out of these arms, and just as goals come up, knock them down and take it absolutely as far as I can.”

The New York-born army sergeant said that he has been coping fine using prosthetic legs since he was wounded in 2009, but had struggled to come to terms with the loss of his arms.

“You talk with your hands, you do everything with your hands, basically, and when you don't have that, you're kind of lost for a while,” he said.

Dr Jaimie Shores, John Hopkins Hospital’s director of hand transplantation said: “He's a young man with a tremendous amount of hope, and he's stubborn - stubborn in a good way…I think the sky's the limit.”

Shores said Marrocco has already been trying to use his hands, although he lacks feeling in the fingers, and he's eager to do more as the slow-growing nerves and muscles mend.

Marrocco is the first soldier to survive losing all four limbs in the Iraq War, and the procedure was only the seventh double-hand or double-arm transplant ever done in the United States.

Marrocco said his chief desire is to drive the black Dodge Charger that's been sitting in his garage for three years, and he also plans to swim and compete in a marathon using a hand-cycle.

Marrocco expects to spend three to four months at the John Hopkins Hospital, then return to a military hospital to continue his physical therapy.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Business Development Executive / Digital Marketing Executive

£26000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A luxury beauty house with a nu...

Recruitment Genius: Housekeepers - Immediate Start

£8 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This company are currently recruiting new exp...

Recruitment Genius: Head Concierge

£25000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This award winning Property Man...

Recruitment Genius: Content, SEO and PPC Executive

£20000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A fantastic opportunity has ari...

Day In a Page

On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific
In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

Dame Colette Bowe - interview
When do the creative juices dry up?

When do the creative juices dry up?

David Lodge thinks he knows
The 'Cher moment' happening across fashion just now

Fashion's Cher moment

Ageing beauty will always be more classy than all that booty
Thousands of teenage girls enduring debilitating illnesses after routine school cancer vaccination

Health fears over school cancer jab

Shock new Freedom of Information figures show how thousands of girls have suffered serious symptoms after routine HPV injection
Fifa President Sepp Blatter warns his opponents: 'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

Fifa president Sepp Blatter issues defiant warning to opponents
Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report

Weather warning

Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report
LSD: Speaking to volunteer users of the drug as trials get underway to see if it cures depression and addiction

High hopes for LSD

Meet the volunteer users helping to see if it cures depression and addiction
German soldier who died fighting for UK in Battle of Waterloo should be removed from museum display and given dignified funeral, say historians

Saving Private Brandt

A Belgian museum's display of the skeleton of a soldier killed at Waterloo prompts calls for him to be given a dignified funeral