An American soldier who lost all four of his limbs in the Iraq war has successfully undergone a rare and complicated double arm transplant which doctors say will eventually allow him to regain almost the full use of his hands.
Brendan Marrocco, 26, who was hit by a roadside bomb on Easter Sunday 2009, was the first soldier to survive quadruple limb loss from the wars in Iraq in Afghanistan.
However, he has now received two donor arms following a 13-hour operation, which doctors described as the most complex arm transplant ever performed in the US.
Mr Marrocco spoke for the first time about the procedure, saying that he felt like himself again.
He said that he was looking forward to driving a car for the first time since his injuries and taking up hand cycling, adding: "I hated not having arms," he said. "Not having arms takes so much away from you.
"I just want to get to the point where I can be completely on my own and just get back to enjoying life," he added.
The former GI lost both legs above the knee, his left arm below the elbow and his right arm above the elbow when a military vehicle he was driving was hit by a makeshift bomb in northern Iraq.
For nearly four years he had waited for the transplant, before finally learning that two donor arms had become available on December 16 – less than two months after his Staten Island home, which had been specially converted to accommodate his disability, was badly flooded during Hurricane Sandy.