Marine receives double arm transplant after all his limbs were blown off in war
Being wounded at war is one thing, but losing all your limbs will definitely get anyone down. That was the sad predicament of 31 year old Marine Sgt John Peck a quadruple amputee. Fortunately for john, a long wait culminated in the gift of two arms. The marine’s double arm transplant was like a lifeline for which he expressed much gratitude. At least he had two new arms and a better life to look forward to.
In 2010 Sgt John Peck lost all four limbs as a result of stepping on an explosive device during his stint in Afghanistan. The recipient of two purple hearts had earlier severed a tour and even experienced an injury to the brain leaving him severely traumatized for some time.
1 Good news in 2014
John lived four years with prosthetic limbs until he received the good news that he was eligible for a bilateral transplant. The limbs were donated by a man who had just died. I will love him every day and will respect his life and this gift until the day I die,”
His new limbs were surgically connected at the elbows and will allow Peck to feel, hold and move things easily. The surgery took 14 long hours where 12 surgeons worked painstakingly to perform the transplant. Peck’s bones were trimmed on both arms and fitted with plates which then reconnected to the donor limbs. The entire operation was an extremely complex one requiring arteries, veins and nerves of both limbs to be connected. Once Peck’s blood flowed into the donor limbs, they turned pink with renewed life. The transplant was complete when Pecks arm muscles were repaired and the connecting skin stitched and closed.
2 Surgeons worked through a grueling 14 hour surgery
For the first night required to be spent in the ICU, Peck felt tremendous pain. However the pain has eased and Peck was well on his way to recovery. The marine’s double arm transplant was performed by Dr Simon Talbot director of the upper extremity transplant program at Brigham and women’s hospital along with Dr David Crandall medical director of the Amputee program at Spaulding Rehabilitation network which is the institute where Peck underwent his post surgery recovery.
Sensations and normal normalcy returned to Pecks limbs after 12 months of physiotherapy. The retired marine desired to be a culinary chef but was advised to be careful in not wounding his new limbs as that would be dangerous for the recovery. Peck now cooks, brushes his teeth and performs normal duties with his new limbs. According to him “This gift, it’s not going to go to waste at all.” Watch the incredible video of the surgical procedure.