Updated 01/28/2013 11:56 PM
Iraq War Hero From Staten Island Gets Double Arm Transplant
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An infantryman from Staten Island who lost his arms and legs while serving in Iraq received a double-arm transplant at Johns Hopkins University last month, and the participating surgeons will hold an official press conference on Tuesday.
U.S. Army veteran Brendan Marrocco, seen above in a picture he posted to Twitter, became the first quadruple amputee to survive the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq after he was injured by a roadside bomb in 2009.
During a 13-hour surgery on December 18, Marrocco received two arms and bone marrow cells from the same deceased donor. The inclusion of bone marrow is helping limit the amount of anti-rejection medication Marrocco has to take, according to Johns Hopkins officials.
Only seven people in the United States, including Marrocco, have received successful double hand or arm transplants.
Doctors told the Associated Press that it could be a couple years before nerve growth allows Marrocco to use his new arms.
After he was initially wounded, Marrocco spent 26 months at Walter Reed Medical Center in Washington, D.C.
Marrocco currently lives with his brother in a handicap accessible home in the Prince's Bay area of Staten Island, which was built through the help of the Siller Foundation and Homes for Heroes.
That house suffered damage due to Hurricane Sandy.