A disabled man wheeled himself into a hospital conference room to face a crowd of journalists.
Not so unusual, you might think. But you would be wrong. Former Army Sergeant Brendan Marroco is the first US soldier from the Iraq and Afghan campaigns to survive losing both arms and both legs. An explosion in Iraq in 2009 changed his life forever.
But now he has received two new arms in the first transplant of its kind at the Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore.
“Not having arms takes so much away from you, out of even your personality.” he told reporters. “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.”
The transplant operation itself took place in December and involved 16 doctors from plastic surgery, orthopedics and other disciplines. The surgery lasted over 13 hours with everything from skin and nerves to blood vessels having to be attached.
Marroco said completing a road race on a manually-propelled bike and also driving a car again are his two major aims.
“We’ll get there,” Marrocco said. Visibly in high spirits, the war veteran laughed and joked and said a positive attitude and stubborn nature helped sustain him through his ordeal. “If it really meant something to me, I would go through hell to do it,” he said.
Marrocco’s family said that besides his pain, he has been upbeat. “He really hasn’t had any low points,” said Michael Marrocco, his brother.
W.P. Andrew Lee, the doctor who headed the transplant team, said although the surgery was successful, it will be a few years before Marrocco’s nerves regenerate and he regains significant use of his arms. “The progress will be slow, but the outcome will be rewarding,” Lee said.
- 1Lavrov hits Turkey with more penalties, doubts commitment to war on “secret allies” ISIL
- 2Belgian police release new details about on-the-run fifth Paris suspect
- 3Russian marine Alexander Pozynich buried
- 4Still no power in Crimea as protesters block repairs to pylons
- 5Turkey dismisses Russia’s economic threats over downing of fighter jet
- 1Warning or no warning – tension grows between Russia and Turkey over downed jet
- 2Russian co-pilot says his plane downed “without warning” by Turks
- 3Hollande adds Italy to his coalition before heading to Moscow
- 4Media war Turkish and Russian press react to downed fighter
- 5Germany will ‘do more’ to fight ISIL, says Merkel
- 1At least 22 people killed as Mali hotel siege ends
- 2Fate of pilots of downed Russian jet unclear
- 3Russia confirms Turks have shot down one of its planes on Syrian border
- 4Five questions on Russia’s air strikes in Syria
- 5Hasna Aitboulahcen did not detonate a suicide vest during the St. Denis shoot out
- 1Coordinated terror attacks leave dozens dead in Paris
- 2euronews live TV - News | euronews : the latest international news as video on demand
- 31000-year-old Bible found in Turkey
- 4Bomb and several shootings in central Paris – reports of fatalities and injuries
- 5International news | euronews, latest international news
- 6world Weather | euronews: world ten day weather forecast
- 7Police hunting Paris attacks mastermind battle with suspects in heart of Paris
- 8European Union News | euronews: latest breaking news and headlines about European Union
- 9latest sci-tech news : euronews : the latest international news as video on demand
- 10New temporary spiritual leader of Muslim Brotherhood appointed
- 11Humans consume more than planet can produce on ‘Earth Overshoot Day’
- 12Thousands in Bucharest blame corruption for Friday’s nightclub blaze
- 13‘Anonymous’ hackers’ group declares ‘war’ on ISIL
- 14‘Maxed-out:’ Jordan’s King Abdullah II’s frank warning over Syria crisis
- 15International breaking news | euronews online world breaking news in video
- 16Business news and finance news | euronews: international economic and finance news
- 17Special Reports : euronews : the latest international news as video on demand
- 18Iraq: deadly car bombs kill more than 60 in Baghdad
- 19Middle East - News | euronews : the latest international news as video on demand
- 20No Comment | euronews: international news images without commentary
Latest world news
Still no power in Crimea as protesters block repairs to pylons
Belgian police release new details about on-the-run fifth Paris suspect
Pope Francis arrives in Uganda
World Bank looks for backers for $16B plan for Africa to adapt to climate change
Tour operator threatens to jump from Colosseum in Rome
Wires > News
- 23:11 CET Sweden suspends flights to northern Iraq over security concerns
- 22:33 CET Insight – Voice of Paris attacks; Did he have bigger role?
- 21:53 CET Turkey’s Erdogan warns Russia not to ‘play with fire’
- 21:51 CET Pope holds private meeting with president of warring South Sudan
- 21:08 CET U.N. chief condemns deadly attack in disputed Abyei region
- 21:06 CET Saudis failed to investigate air strikes on Yemen civilians -…
- 19:58 CET Lebanon PM urges presidential vote after new push to find candidate
- 19:47 CET U.S.‘s Biden, Italy’s Renzi discuss fight against Islamic State -…