A man obtains the world’s first double arm transplant, allowing him to flex his biceps for the first time.
After 23 years, a man who received the world’s first double arm transplant has claimed that the operation was a success and that he can now move his arms.
Felix Gretarsson, now 49, was electrocuted in Iceland in 1998 while attempting to repair a powerline. His arms were lit on fire, his back was broken in three places, and his neck was fractured as he dropped 32 feet to the ground.
During his three-month coma, Felix underwent 54 operations, and surgeons had to amputate both of his arms to preserve his life.
To cope, he turned to narcotics and alcohol abuse, and in less than a year, he underwent two liver transplants to preserve his life.
Felix noticed an advertisement for a lecture by world-renowned surgeon Dr. Jean-Michel Dubernard, who is best known for performing the first successful hand transplant in 1998, at the University of Iceland in 2007.
Felix tracked down Dr. Dubernard in a desperate attempt to persuade him to undertake a never-before-attempted double arm transplant.
Dr. Dubernard stated it was possible, but Felix would have to relocate from Iceland to Lyon, France, in order for Dr. Dubernard’s team to make the necessary preparations.
Felix began a statewide fundraising effort in Iceland to assist pay for the €200,000 operation four years later, after surgeons accepted his application.
The search for a potential donor began in 2017, and he received word in January of this year that a suitable donor had been discovered.
Felix proceeded to Hopital Edouard Herriot the next day, on the 23rd anniversary of his injury, for a 15-hour double arm and shoulder transplant.
Felix can now move his arms six months later, owing to hundreds of hours of rehabilitation therapy and after his body rejected the new limbs twice and a severe skin fungus.
“When I woke up, the pain was excruciating,” the grandfather-of-two said of his new arms. It seemed as though two trucks were parked on each of my shoulders.
“As the nerves expand, the sensation in them can be a little uncomfortable. Even though I can’t feel the skin on my arm, I can sense the nerves inside. I’m moving my elbow in the water, my bicep is now working, and I just saw my arm veins are starting to grow in the heat, which doesn’t happen unless the automatic nervous system is activated.”Brinkwire Summary News”.