Brendan Marrocco lost all four of his limbs after a roadside bomb detonated near him while he was serving in Iraq in 2009. He is the first soldier to survive losing all four his limbs. Thanks to a double-arm transplant, he may now get the use of two of those limbs back.
The 26-year-old had the transplant surgery last month at John Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Md., and although he hasn’t spoken with the press about the operations or its effectiveness yet, he did reveal a little bit about how he was going on Twitter. “Ohh yeah today has been one month since my surgery and they already move a little," Marrocco tweeted Jan. 18. When NASCAR driver Brad Keselowski tweeted at him, Marrocco responded with: "dude I can't tell you how exciting this is for me. I feel like I finally get to start over."
Marrocco’s operation was made possible by a deceased donor who gave Marrocco the new pair of arms as well as bone marrow. The bone marrow is used for helping the body accept new limbs with minimal medication to prevent rejection. The Marroccos want to thank the donor's family for "making a selfless decision ... making a difference in Brendan's life," Abe Marrocco, Brendan’s father, said.
Marrocco has been living with his brother at a Staten Island home especially equipped to help him be as self-sufficient and non-reliant on the help of others as possible. The home, which has heavily damaged by Superstorm Sandy in the fall, was paid for with donations from various charities.
Since Marrocco survived his quadruple amputation, there have been four other soldiers to suffer the same fate. The loss of limbs has been a huge problem in the US’s recent wars and it is believed that about 300 soldiers have lost arms or hands in Iraq or Afghanistan.