Will Lautzenheizer, a quadruple amputee following a streptococcal infection, received a double-arm transplant at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston. Nathan Frandino reports.
Will Lautzenheizer is on the road to recovery. After losing his arms and legs to a streptococcal infection in 2011, the 40-year-old received a rare double-arm transplant last month with the help of an anonymous donor. (SOUNDBITE) (English) WILL LAUTZENHEIZER, BILATERAL ARM TRANSPLANTEE, SAYING: "This person who is anonymous to me will always be as close to me as my own skin now and it's really an incredible gift." The nine-hour operation required 35 medical staff, including 13 surgeons, at Brigham & Women's Hospital in Boston. (SOUNDBITE) (English) WILL LAUTZENHEIZER, BILATERAL ARM TRANSPLANTEE, SAYING: "Brigham is an incredible institution and to have come here and received this gift. Obviously, it's life-changing." Lautzenheizer has a long stretch of therapy ahead. Doctors say his nerves must literally grow into the nerves of his new limbs, which they say usually takes a year-and-a-half. And as his arms rehabilitate, he says he is drawing inspiration from his partner, Angel. (SOUNDBITE) (English) WILL LAUTZENHEIZER, BILATERAL ARM TRANSPLANTEE, SAYING: "Yes, to be able to hold my love in my arms again is really the best." While rare, there have been other double-arm transplants in the U.S. in recent years. A U.S. soldier who lost all four limbs in a roadside explosion in Iraq had a double-arm transplant in 2012.