The Amazing Story Of A Soldier Who Got New Arms

The Huffington Post Huffington Post

Brendan Marrocco was the first soldier to have lost all his limbs in the Iraq War and survived. In 2009, a road-side bomb went off and turned him into a paraplegic. Four years later, a transplant surgery changed his fate.

He told The Huffington Post  that he could get by living without legs, but he hated living without arms.

"Not having arms takes so much away from you. Even your personality, you know. You talk with your hands. You do everything with your hands, and when you don't have that, you're kind of lost for a while," the 26-year-old said. Thanks to an unbelievable transplant surgery, Marrocco got his arms and hands back.

According to the report by HuffPo's, Alex Dominguez, Marrocco "insisted on rolling his own wheelchair into a news conference using his new transplanted arms. Then he brushed his hair to one side." The act of brushing aside his hair, which would go un-noted in most patients, is an incredible feat for Marrocco and a credit to the surgery's success. Marrocco only just got his new arms and hands six weeks ago. It's not an outcome many foresee for a man wounded by a roadside bomb. The news-conference, covered by HuffPo, was in celebration of a milestone in his recovery--the day he was discharged from the hospital.

Although the use of his arms is inspiring, the surgery is still fresh. Doctors don't want him using them too much, but "his gritty determination to regain independence was one of the chief reasons he was chosen to receive the surgery, which has been performed in the U.S. only seven times," HuffPo reports.

Marrocco's message for wounded soldiers is to not give up. "[B]e stubborn," he said. "There's a lot of people who will say you can't do something. Just be stubborn and do it anyway. Work your ass off and do it."

Dr. W.P. Andrew Lee, head of the team that conducted the surgery, said Marrocco will be able to do most of what he did before he was wounded. Another patient who received an arm transplant can tie his shoes and use chopsticks. He said Marrocco's recovery has been remarkable, and has helped "restore physical and psychological well-being."

washingtontimes.com

Marrocco's mother, Michelle Marrocco, said he can't hug her yet, so he brushes his left arm against her face.

The first time he moved his left arm was a complete surprise, an involuntary motion while friends were visiting him in the hospital, he said.

"I had no idea what was going through my mind. I was with my friends, and it happened by accident," he recalled. "One of my friends said `Did you do that on purpose?' And I didn't know I did it."

For the full report, visit Huffington Post Good News.

ABC posted a video of the news conference, in which Dr. Lee and Marrocco talk about the experience and the progress they've made so far:

In This Inspiring Pageant, Young Women Show Off Their Talents As Leaders!

The Ivy Girl Academy is a leadership training program for teenage girls in South Jordan, Utah, and it culminates with a pageant that's a little different from the typical kind of beauty contest. At the Ivy Girl pageants, the contestants showcase leadership skills that they've developed over the course of their time with the Academy. Leading up to the pageant is a four-month intensive program consisting of 30 hours of service, character-building challenges, and mentorship of younger Ivy Girls through community clubs.

Keep reading... Show less

Low-Income Students Get To Plant Seeds Of Change In This New Community Garden

Started as a social experiment in Venice Beach, California, the Community Healing Gardens has grown into so much more. Co-founder Nicole Landers initially wanted to develop a framework for introducing new and long-standing residents of her neighborhood to one another, and her mind made a natural leap.

Keep reading... Show less
www.youtube.com

When Communities Face Unemployment, Starbucks Wants To Train And Inspire

Most people know them for their coffee, but that's not why we're celebrating Starbucks today. Because coffee is not what brought a young Kenyarah Williams to Starbucks' doors. What she wanted was a solid job, and that's what Starbucks offered her. Kenyarah had her first child at eighteen, and she quickly found herself working three jobs to support a growing family. When she started at Starbucks as a barista 9 years ago, her place of employment was outside of her neighborhood of Englewood in Chicago. Today, Kenyarah is thriving as a store manager at a shop in Englewood, and is helping to bring opportunities like the one she grabbed to other young people in her community.

Keep reading... Show less

5 Rescue Shelters That Are Finding Dogs Love And Furever Homes

We've met a lot of amazing organizations and non-profits over the years, especially ones that do amazing things to help shelter dogs, who are close to euthanasia, find love and forever homes. Some of these organizations are small and community based, while others cover a larger regional or national footprint. No matter their size, what they do to support these dogs is nothing short of inspirational.

Keep reading... Show less

Beloved Minor League Bat Dog Dies From Cancer

The Trenton Thunder, a minor league baseball affiliate of the NY Yankees, has an unusual way of getting through the dog days of summer. If you attend their home games, you will find Golden Retrievers serving as the "bat dogs" and mascots for the minor league baseball team.

Keep reading... Show less

Air Hollywood Helps Families and Kids With Autism Build Confidence For Traveling

Air Hollywood is the world's largest aviation-themed entertainment studio, but that's not the only feature that makes it special. Every year, for one night only, Air Hollywood opens its hangar to the public for a special event called Open Sky for Autism.

Keep reading... Show less

Catch A Lift Fund Is Transforming Wounded Veterans' Lives Through Fitness

Do you ever wonder how veterans cope with life once they come home from combat? After being trained to be on high-alert 24/7, what's it like for them to integrate back into everyday society? It raises the question: our military members protect us, but who protects them?

Keep reading... Show less
Fans' Top 5 Hits

Meet Jack, An 11-Year-Old Who Runs His Way to Trophies and Medals With Prosthetic Legs

Jack Cunningham is a normal kid. He does well in school. He loves playing sports and hanging out with friends and family. He also happens to be missing both of his legs... But he hasn't let his condition stop him from living life to the fullest.

Keep reading... Show less