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World’s First-Ever Double Arm And Shoulder Transplant Recipient Makes Incredible Recovery

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World’s First-Ever Double Arm And Shoulder Transplant Recipient Makes Incredible Recovery

Felix Gretarsson, 49, has become the first person in the world to receive a successful double arm and shoulder transplant.

The Icelandic man, who was an electrician, lost both of his arms in an awful work accident in 1998.

Gretarsson set out on 12 January with the aim of fixing a line that served 500 homes.

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Felix Gretarsson is the first person to have a successful double arm transplant. Credit: SWNS
Felix Gretarsson is the first person to have a successful double arm transplant. Credit: SWNS

However, there was some confusion as to what part of the line needed fixing, which led Gretarsson touching the wrong wire.

He was subsequently electrocuted and plummeted 32ft to the ground.

Recalling the incident, Gretarsson said: "I didn't remember until years after, but I fell down and I remember the only thing I felt was pain in the belly and confusion.

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"With a trauma like this, the body shuts off. I had no feeling of burning arms and broken back. It was just complete shock."

Gretarsson's arms were set on fire during the incident, and his colleagues rushed to a nearby river for water to put the flames out.

The last thing Gretarsson remembers were the kind words of a colleague who was trying to keep him calm as they tried to douse the flames.

While the severely injured man successfully made it to the hospital, his troubles didn't stop there.

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Felix lost his arms in 1998. Credit: SWNS
Felix lost his arms in 1998. Credit: SWNS

Following the accident, Gretarsson went into a three-month-long coma, during which he had 54 operations, including a double arm amputation, in an effort to save his life.

With the surgeries being a success, Gretarsson went to a rehab centre, where his pain medication was slowly reduced.

However, he soon became reliant on other substances to cope, forming addictions that would so badly damage his liver he would eventually need a transplant.

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It is during this time that Gretarsson lost his job, his then-girlfriend, and couldn't see his two young daughters.

While things looked bleak, he found renewed hope after tracking down a world-class surgeon and begging him to perform the ground-breaking double arm transplant.

Felix is now working hard in recovery to hug his family again. Credit: SWNS
Felix is now working hard in recovery to hug his family again. Credit: SWNS

Gretarsson even moved halfway around the world to be in with a chance of having the surgery, and on the 23rd anniversary of his accident, that's exactly what happened.

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The 15-hour surgery took place in January, and nearly six months later he can move his arms, and he's even working up to being able to hug his wife, children and grandkids for the first time.

Speaking about the incredible surgery, Gretarsson said: "The first thing I thought was who the f**k does this on purpose, because the pain when I woke up was so excruciating.

He hopes that he'll soon be able to move his hands too. Credit: SWNS
He hopes that he'll soon be able to move his hands too. Credit: SWNS

"It was like there was two trucks parked on each of my shoulders.

"Having been through hospitalisation before I kind of knew the first time it feels like the end of the world and that you're going to be a patient for the rest of your life.

"But when you recover you know it's just temporary this s**t will pass so I put my heels down and put my head down."

Gretarsson added that he is 'hopeful' that he is going to be able to move his hands as well as his arms soon.

If you have a story you want to tell, send it to UNILAD via [email protected]  

Featured Image Credit: SWNS

Topics: News, Health, Good News

Shola Lee
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