Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Arm transplant recipient says he can now hold fiancee's hand

Retired Marine Sgt. John Peck speaks about his double arm transplant with his fiancee, Jessica Paker, on Wednesday at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston. Peckt said Wednesday that the best part about having arms again is that he can hold his fiancee's hand and pursue his lifelong dream of becoming a chef. [Associated Press]

Retired Marine Sgt. John Peck speaks about his double arm transplant with his fiancee, Jessica Paker, on Wednesday at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston. Peckt said Wednesday that the best part about having arms again is that he can hold his fiancee's hand and pursue his lifelong dream of becoming a chef. [Associated Press]

BOSTON — A former Marine sergeant who underwent a double arm transplant said Wednesday that the best part about having arms again is that he can hold his fiancee's hand and pursue his lifelong dream of becoming a chef.

Retired Sgt. John Peck , who lost all four limbs as the result of an explosion of a homemade bomb in Afghanistan in May 2010, underwent 14 hours of surgery at Brigham and Women's Hospital in August. The procedure involved 60 doctors, nurses and other medical personnel.

His arms are scarred and move awkwardly, but every day with the new limbs is better, he said at a news conference at the hospital. He is learning to dress himself, brush his teeth and feed himself all over again.

The first time he held fiancee Jessica Paker's hand after the surgery, he couldn't even feel it, but it still meant the world.

"That truly is a special gift," he said, adding later that he can now feel pressure when she squeezes.

Peck, 31, will probably need nine to 12 months of rehabilitation before the nerves are fully functional again, said Dr. Simon Talbot, the lead surgeon.

Peck, originally from Antioch, Ill., now lives in Fredericksburg, Va. He said he has wanted to be a chef since he was 12.

"As a result of surgery, I'll be able to pursue my dreams," he said. He has already started cooking, but because he doesn't have full feeling in the new limbs, he has to be careful he doesn't cut or burn himself. He plans to visit France and Italy to hone his craft, he said.

Peck also thanked the donor, whose family wishes to remain anonymous.

"I will remember his selflessness and gift until the day I die," he said.

According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, hand and arm transplants have been performed on more than 85 people around the world. This was the fourth double arm or hand transplant performed at Brigham and Women's.

Arm transplant recipient says he can now hold fiancee's hand 10/06/16 [Last modified: Thursday, October 6, 2016 1:00am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Associated Press.
    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Tampa International Airport morphing into a mini-city unto itself

    Airlines

    TAMPA — By the end of the 2026, Joe Lopano wants Tampa International Airport to function as its own little city.

    Artist rendering of phase two of the $1 billion construction expansion of Tampa International Airport. The airport is transforming 17 acres of airport property that will include at least one hotel, retail and office space and a gas station, among other things.
[Courtesy of Tampa International Airport]
  2. William March: Sheriff Gee denies his resignation was timed to help GOP

    News

    Sheriff David Gee is denying through spokesmen that he planned his 2016 re-election and subsequent resignation to help Republicans hold the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office. But Democrats say it seems obvious he did.

  3. Trump meeting with G-7 leaders after going on offensive

    Nation

    TAORMINA, Italy — In the Middle East, President Donald Trump was feted with pageantry, the leaders of Saudi Arabia and Israel seemingly in competition to outdo the other with the warmth of their welcomes and the depth of their pledges of cooperation.

    From left, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, U.S. President Donald Trump and Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni arrive for the group photo at the G7 Taormina summit on the island of Sicily on Friday  in Taormina, Italy. [Getty Images]
  4. Perspective: As the toll climbs, advocates bring renewed attention to Florida gun violence

    Perspective

    Times Staff Writer

    Like most 12-year-old girls, Ra'Mya Eunice loved slumber parties.

    The Empire State Building in New York City was bathed in tangerine light last year to mark National Gun Violence Awareness Day. It was part of the Wear Orange campaign led by the non-profit Everytown for Gun Safety. [Courtesy of Everytown for Gun Safety]
  5. Lawyer says Kushner willing to cooperate with investigators

    Nation

    WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, is willing to cooperate with federal investigators looking into ties between Russia and the Trump campaign, his attorney said.

    In this May 23 photo, White House senior adviser Jared Kushner, left, and his wife Ivanka Trump watch during a visit by President Donald Trump to Yad Vashem to honor the victims of the Holocaust in Jerusalem. The Washington Post is reporting that the FBI is investigating meetings that Trump's son-in-law, Kushner, had in December 2016, with Russian officials. [AP photo]