January 29, 2013

Arms transplanted.

To an Iraq War veteran who lost both arms and both legs.
Brendan Marrocco is the first Iraq War veteran to survive losing all four limbs in a bombing

His chief surgeon, Dr. W.P. Andrew Lee, said Marrocco’s operation was “the most expensive and complicated arm transplant surgery ever performed."

16 comments:

MadisonMan said...

Hooray for modern medicine!

cold pizza said...

We can rebuild him. Make him faster, stronger, better! DA-da-da-da-da, DA-da-da-da-da.

On an aside, was the cost for surgery more then $6M? -CP

bagoh20 said...

He's a whole lot tougher than me. I never would have let myself live to see this day. Although, I don't know what you even do about that with no limbs. Complete and total helplessness. Terrifying.

m stone said...

Great story. Great guy. All we need to diminish it is injecting politics and that won't happen on the Althouse blog.

edutcher said...

Saw that item and was absolutely floored.

bpm4532 said...

Amazing!

Patrick said...

What a story. Just incredible. Remember the show "That's incredible?" This makes all of those guys look like pikers.

virgil xenophon said...

Good thing the guy got his surgery done before Obama-care kicks in..

ddh said...

I hope Sgt. Marrocco gains full use of his new hands, and I wish him all the best.

Paul said...

God Bless him!

Never ever give up!

EDH said...

In addition to the arms, Marrocco received a bone marrow transplant from the same donor to reduce the chance of rejection.

Interested to learn a little more about the donor and how that process worked.

Anga2010 said...

I think I would go for the bionics. The flesh transplants are going to bleed if they get bumped into, but with bionics, you will only have to replace a few parts. Otherwise, it's very lucky for the original "6 million dollar man" that he was built in the 70's, because these days that 6mil would only purchase a pinky toe.

Michael K said...

The fact that he seems to have elbows and shoulders make the prognosis much better. The farther down the limb, the better. The nerves have less distance to grow and a better chance to find the right path. It will take years to see how successful it is. I have reimplanted a forearm but that was the patient's own arm. This is an order of magnitude tougher.

The cost is relative as rehabilitation of wounded vets is a very high priority. The reasons why the Marines got volunteers in WWII even though they were headed into tough combat was because they never left wounded behind on the field. Knowing the VA will fix even complex injuries like this will help recruitment, assuming we still have an army in four years (Sorry about the politics at the end.)

ALH said...

Amazing patient, amazing doctors.
Both possess an internal drive that i dont.
How many people could go thru that physical and psychological trauma and still fight each day to get better? How many people (even those who are talented, brilliant doctors) have the audacity and will to push medicine into new territory?

whoresoftheinternet said...

Let's give everyone involved a nice hand.

or two.

Crunchy Frog said...

Landmine
Has taken my sight
Taken my speech
Taken my hearing
Taken my arms
Taken my legs
Taken my soul
Left me with life in hell