A man has made history as he became the first person ever to undergo a double arm-and-shoulder transplant.
49-year-old Felix Gretarsson lost his arms to an accident that took place back in 1998 when the man was fixing a powerline as part of his job duties.
Following the accident, the young man was placed into a coma to allow the surgeons to perform more than fifty operations to save his life.
More than two decades after he lost his arms in the accident, Felix was approached by Jean-Michel Dubernard, a renowned surgeon who performed the first hand transplant in the world, who presented him with the hope that he will one day be able to hug his family again.
After moving to France to get in contact with the surgeon’s team and wait for a donor, Felix underwent a historic double arm and shoulder transplant at the Edouard-Herriot Hospital in Lyon.
Following just half a year after the massive procedure, Felix can already move his new arms in the water and flex his biceps.
“I am moving the elbow in water, my bicep is now working and that’s only five months after,” Felix expressed.
“I just noticed the veins in my arms are starting to expand in the heat and that doesn’t happen unless the automatic nervous system is working.
“I am so hopeful that I am going to be able to move my hands as well which nobody expected – except me.”
As the father happily added, his next milestone is to be able to give his wife and their kids a big hug for the first time since the accident.
Felix also recalled the time he woke up from the transplant only to experience the pain he had never felt before.
“The first thing I thought was ‘who the f*** does this on purpose?’ It was like there was two trucks parked on each of my shoulders,” he said.
But as his rehabilitation started, he started to realize that all of the pain was temporary and that he just got a second chance at life.
“Having been through hospitalization 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,” Felix added.
“But when you recover you know it’s just temporary this s*** will pass so I put my heels down and put my head down.”
While the grandfather’s accident may have changed his life forever, he now sees that there is a silver lining in everything and that good things can follow even after major setbacks.
“Sometimes the bad things that happen to us are the reason the good things can happen to us further down the line,” Felix says.
“If I hadn’t lost my arms I wouldn’t be living in France with my wife today. So many good things you can take from this – this is what has kept me going. There’s always a silver lining to everything.”
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