For the first time in medical history, a man underwent a transplant of both arms and both shoulders.
A medical feat
On Wednesday, 13 January 2021, Felix Gretarsson, a 48-year-old Icelandic man, was the subject of this heavy operation, which was an unprecedented feat in the medical field.
Around fifty surgeons from the Lyon hospitals of Jean Mermoz, the Lyon-Villeurbanne Medipôle, the Parc de Lyon Clinic, the North-West Hospital of Villefranche-sur-Saône and Edouard Herriot took shifts. For more than fifteen hours, they carefully carried out this historic operation under the watchful eye of Prof. Jean-Michel Dubernard.
After spending several days in the intensive care unit, Felix Gretarsson was able to return to his room and hug his wife, Sylwia Gretarsson. On January 16, Gretarsson shared a short video on social media, in which he spoke out for the first time, addressing this incredible intervention:
Thanks for all your support. I am not yet allowed to show my arms. I wanted to tell you that I'm fine. I love you all, thank you for your support, I'll talk to you later.
His wife gave some good news
BFMTV newspaper went to meet Sylwia Gretarsson to learn more about her husband's state of health:
He is doing very well. He went back to his room this morning. He is no longer in intensive care. (...) Everything is going well even if he has a lot of pain. These pains will still accompany him for a while. All of this is normal, it is part of the process.
She continues: :
He has a bit of feeling. Every day, he sees the physiotherapists, who mobilize his arms, his fingers, and he manages to get some sensations around of the upper part of his arms.
Reassuring news which hope (back) for amputees, also awaiting transplants. However, she specifies:
But of course, we will wait a long time before he gets a more definite feeling. For us, this is really a great reason to rejoice even if it is very little at the moment.
This operation is a big step in medical progress and means a new life granted to Felix Gretarsson.
Felix Gretarsson electrocuted at 23
This former electrician had both arms amputated after being electrocuted on a high-voltage line in 1998. This tragedy was finally erased thanks to the prowess of Professor Jean-Michel Dubernard after 10 years of disability.
Watch Felix Gretarsson's video at the top of the article!