A man from Iceland who became the first in the world to receive a double arm transplant is exceeding the expectations of medical professionals with his progress and he can now hug his granddaughter and shake hands.
Felix Gretarsson, from Kopavogur in Iceland, received the transplant 16 months ago and has since regained feeling in both arms, hands and all of his fingers, although this is still an ongoing process.
In the operation, his remaining arm nerves, situated under his collarbone, were connected to those in the donor arms and have since started to grow on their own.
Felix’s progress since the pioneering operation has been steady, gradually building up strength, feeling and movement, and this is continuing – he cannot yet make a fist with his left hand.
Felix had to have both of his arms amputated in 1998 after an industrial accident where he worked caused him to be severely electrocuted. Since then his daughter had grown up and had her own daughter, who Felix can now cuddle.
He appeared on British TV show Good Morning Britain to talk about his incredible journey and, to show just what he can do now, he raised his arm and shook presented Ben Shepherd’s hand at the end of the interview.
Felix’s story shows just what medical technology can achieve today and gives hope to other people who have had their arms amputated that one day they too could hug their loved ones again. With the success he has had, it is likely that more operations like this will happen in the future.