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  1. #1
    Thailand Expat AntRobertson's Avatar
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    Soldier gets two new arms

    This is pretty amazing, modern medicine and all that!

    [Ps. Mod(s) - feel free to shift this if necessary, I can't post in 'News']

    Soldier gets two new arms
    By Marilynn Marchione
    5:30 AM Wednesday Jan 30, 2013


    They're moving, says quad-amputee a month after limb and bone marrow transplant.

    EXPAND
    Brendan Marrocco. Photo / AP
    The first American soldier to survive after losing all four limbs in the Iraq war has received a double-arm transplant.

    Brendan Marrocco had the operation on December 18 at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, his father said yesterday.

    The 26-year-old Marrocco was injured by a roadside bomb in 2009.

    Those new arms "already move a little," Marrocco tweeted a month after the operation.

    He also received bone marrow from the same dead donor who supplied his new arms. That novel approach is aimed at helping his body accept the new limbs with minimal medication to prevent rejection.

    The military is sponsoring operations like these to help wounded troops. About 300 have lost arms or hands in the wars.

    "He was the first quad-amputee to survive" from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and there have been four others since then, said Brendan Marrocco's father, Alex Marrocco.

    The Marroccos wanted to thank the donor's family for "making a selfless decision ... making a difference in Brendan's life". On Facebook, Brendan Marrocco describes himself as a "wounded warrior ...

    very wounded."

    "Ohh yeah today has been one month since my surgery and they already move a little," Brendan Marrocco tweeted on January 18.

    Responding to a tweet from Nascar driver Brad Keselowski, he wrote: "Dude I can't tell you how exciting this is for me. I feel like I finally get to start over."

    The 13-hour operation was led by Dr Andrew Lee, plastic surgery chief at Johns Hopkins, and is the seventh double-hand or double-arm transplant done in the United States.

    Lee led three of those earlier operations when he previously worked at the University of Pittsburgh.

    Marrocco's "was the most complicated one" so far, Lee said. It would take more than a year to know how fully Marrocco will be able to use the new arms, Lee said.

    Marrocco expects to spend up to four months at Hopkins, then continue physical therapy at a military hospital. Before the operation, he had been living in a handicapped-accessible home on New York's Staten Island. It was heavily damaged by superstorm Sandy.

    Anti-rejection breakthrough

    Dr Andrew Lee pioneered the novel immune suppression approach used for Brendan Marrocco (left, pictured before the operation fitted with a prosthetic arm).

    The surgeon led hand transplant operations on five patients, giving them marrow from their donors in addition to the new limbs. All five have done well and four have been able to take just one anti-rejection drug instead of the combination treatments most transplant patients receive.

    Minimising anti-rejection drugs is important because they have side-effects and raise the risk of cancer over the long term. Those risks have limited the willingness of surgeons and patients to do more hand, arm and even face transplants.

    - AP
    Soldier gets two new arms - World - NZ Herald News

  2. #2
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    bsnub's Avatar
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    Godspeed on his recovery! Pretty amazing!

  3. #3
    Philippine Expat Davis Knowlton's Avatar
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    I read that early this morning. Imagine waking up to find ALL FOUR of your limbs are gone. I can't fathom the level of courage required to fight back from such an injury.

  4. #4
    Thailand Expat AntRobertson's Avatar
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    It's kinda hard to envisage how that would happen in the first place. You'd think that injuries from an IED or whatever that were bad enough to mean amputation of all your limbs would also cause too much torso damage to survive.

  5. #5
    Philippine Expat Davis Knowlton's Avatar
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    ^Only thing I can think of is that helmet and body armor protected his head and torso.

  6. #6
    Thailand Expat AntRobertson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Davis Knowlton
    Only thing I can think of is that helmet and body armor protected his head and torso.
    Actually that makes perfect sense, hadn't even considered it.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Davis Knowlton View Post
    ^Only thing I can think of is that helmet and body armor protected his head and torso.
    Exactly. He would have died in the Vietnam war.

  8. #8
    Philippine Expat Davis Knowlton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bsnub View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Davis Knowlton View Post
    ^Only thing I can think of is that helmet and body armor protected his head and torso.
    Exactly. He would have died in the Vietnam war.
    Miracle he survived in this one - I would have thought there was about a 99% chance the shock would have killed him. Must have been a medic REALLY close by.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Davis Knowlton
    Must have been a medic REALLY close by.
    There usually is these days Davis and you can bet that the medivac chopper was only minutes away and the flight to the field hospital was also a short one. They have it dialed in these days.

  10. #10
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    What a horrible fate. It's always young men that pay the price for old mens' battles.

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