Iraq War Vet Gets Double Arm Transplant
U.S. Army Specialist Brendan Marrocco is a 26-year-old veteran, the first soldier to survive losing all four limbs in the Iraq war.
And now as the recipient of a double arm transplant, he can look forward to doing things so many of us take for granted.
Brendan, a Staten Island resident, was traveling in Iraq with other members of his company in April 2009 when his vehicle was hit by an IEP. One soldier died, and two others were injured. Brendan was kept from bleeding to death by his platoon's medic, and was airlifted to a hospital in Tikrit.
He was fitted with prosthetic legs, but had to deal with life without arms for the past few years.
Brendan underwent an incredibly long surgery last month as he received a double arm transplant from a deceased donor, one of only seven people in the U.S. to receive such a transplant.
Brendan is now out of the hospital, and as of Jan. 18, he had tweeted that he already has feeling in his new arms.
I had the privilege of meeting Brendan and his family when I helped emcee a fundraising event for him in Atlantic Highlands a couple years ago.
The thing that struck me most about Brendan is his positive attitude towards life and his awesome sense of humor. (And he's a Yankees fan. *Bonus.*) He was just such a cool and completely humble guy.
As for Brendan, he has a lot of hours of rehab ahead, but he can work towards doing the things he used to love, like driving.
Best wishes Brendan, good luck with your rehab, and know that everyone at the Jersey Shore is pulling for you!