John Peck, the double-arm transplant recipient, posted a video to Facebook on Monday showing his incredible progress on the road to recovery. He is gaining control over his right elbow; a huge step in the process of healing.
In 2010, Peck's life changed forever when he stepped on an explosive in Afghanistan while serving in the US Marine Corps. He lost all of his limbs from the blast. That wasn't his first experience with injury; he also toured in Iraq and suffered a traumatic brain injury there. He has recieved two purple hearts for his actions.
Peck had been using prosthetic limbs for several years, but in 2014, after several tests, he was finally approved for surgery. His new arms would come from another young man, a man who died young. Peck was able to raise money to help with surgery costs, but a good majority came from his own pocket. John posted around thanksgiving about his donor, Chris, and the sad story behind his death. Peck is grateful for the gift of his arms, and Chris saved the lives of a few more people as well.
The surgery took a total of 14 grueling hours, as the veins, nerves, muscles, and skin were all painstakingly attached on after another. Since surgery, Peck has been battling rejection episodes for his transplants, a fair amount of pain, and the long, arduous work in physical therapy to be able to use his new limbs. Through it all, he remains one of the happiest people you'll see on social media; always smiling, always willing to share his story and answer any questions.The recovery process is slow; it can take months for sensitivity to come back into Peck's new hands. Once that happens, he wants to pursue his lifelong dream of becoming a chef. His doctors remain impressed with his tenacity and patience with the process. According to ABC News:
Dr. David Crandell, the amputee program medical director at the Spaulding Rehabilitation Network, said in October that Peck's skills and drive as a Marine have been evident as he goes through the rehabilitation process."John spent less than one week on inpatient service, and the last three weeks as outpatient, participating in almost daily physical therapy and occupational [therapy]," Crandell said, noting that Peck brought "an intensity to all his therapy which is clearly evident."