Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

New penis recipient looks forward to being a 'complete' man

BOSTON — The recipient of the nation's first penis transplant says he is looking forward to walking out of the hospital a "complete" man.

"There is no doubt in my mind that everything is going to work. And I mean everything," 64-year-old Thomas Manning said Wednesday with a grin as he continued to recover at Boston's Massachusetts General Hospital. "You can interpret that any way you wish."

Seated by a window overlooking the Charles River, Manning was upbeat and chatty after undergoing the 15-hour operation last week.

The former Halifax, Massachusetts, bank courier whose organ was amputated after he was diagnosed with penile cancer in 2012 has been ambling around his room with a walker and said he doesn't feel any pain.

He has taken a few peeks under the gauze covering his new penis, which was taken from a deceased donor, and the swelling and discoloration appear to be diminishing. He said he believes the nerves are even starting to reconnect.

"I just can feel like movement and life in it already," Manning said. "I feel that we belong together."

Manning is just the third man in the world to receive a new penis, following transplants in South Africa in 2014 and China in 2005.

The South African patient remains healthy and was able to father a child, though the baby was stillborn. The Chinese man, however, had his new penis removed weeks later because he said it made him and his wife uncomfortable.

The revolutionary procedure could give hope to cancer survivors, accident victims and maimed soldiers. It could also benefit transgender people.

Manning's doctors said in announcing the operation on Monday that they hoped to release him sometime this week. But Manning said he will stay and undergo largely cosmetic surgery on Monday to improve the organ's appearance.

"They're in no rush, and I'm in no rush," Manning said. "Let's get this done right."

He vowed: "I'm going to walk out of here complete."

Doctors said that it will be a few more weeks before Manning can urinate normally and that sexual function is farther down the line. But reproduction is not possible since Manning didn't receive new testes.

As for the prospects of having a sex life again, Manning, who is single, never married and has no children, said: "When it happens it happens. I don't have to push it. I hope to be around for another 20 or 30 years. Will it still be working by then? I sure hope so."

Manning's penile cancer was discovered after a workplace accident in which he slipped on ice. Doctors told him they needed to take aggressive action to save his life.

"Part of me was really devastated," Manning said. "I didn't feel like less of a man, but I went through my own version of hell."

He said he had been asking his doctor almost ever since to put him on the short list for a transplant.

"I would have went to the moon for this," Manning said. "I mean, why not? They cut my penis off, and I wanted it back. It's not that complicated."

But Manning said he never hesitated about going public.

"The bottom line is you can't worry about what other people think. You've got to get on with your life," he said. "I happen to be the first person to receive a penis transplant. What's the big deal?"

Thomas Manning, of Halifax, Mass. reacts during an interview in his hospital room at Massachusetts General Hospital, Wednesday, May 18, 2016, in Boston. Manning is the first man in the United States to undergo a penis transplant. [AP photo]

Thomas Manning, of Halifax, Mass. reacts during an interview in his hospital room at Massachusetts General Hospital, Wednesday, May 18, 2016, in Boston. Manning is the first man in the United States to undergo a penis transplant. [AP photo]

New penis recipient looks forward to being a 'complete' man 05/18/16 [Last modified: Wednesday, May 18, 2016 5:45pm]
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

  1. Jones: Bucs need success to get national respect


    Tampa Bay Times columnist Tom Jones offers up his Two Cents on the world of sports.

    No respect

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Dirk Koetter walks the field during the second day of mandatory minicamp at One Buccaneer Place in Tampa, Fla., on Wednesday, June 14, 2017. LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times
  2. Hopes fade after landslide destroys Chinese village (w/video)


    Crews searching through the night in the rubble left by a landslide that buried a mountain village under tons of soil and rocks in southwestern China found 15 bodies, but more than 110 more people remained missing.

    Vehicles and people line a road leading to the site of a landslide in Xinmo village in Mao County on Saturday in southwestern China’s Sichuan Province. More than 100 people remained missing after the village was buried under tons of rocks and soil.
  3. Rookie Jake Faria dissatisfied with performance in Rays' loss to Orioles

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The rookie pitcher walked to his locker Saturday after tossing the fourth quality start in as many tries to begin his career. He held the potent Orioles bats to three runs and for six innings gave his team a chance to win.

    Orioles third baseman Manny Machado tags out the Rays’ Mallex Smith at third after a rundown in the first inning.
  4. Thousands converge in two St. Pete locations celebrating LGBT rights

    Human Interest

    ST. PETERSBURG — Tom Rockhill didn't know what to expect Saturday, but by noon people were knocking on the door of his bar Right Around the Corner in Grand Central.

    (From left to right) Emma Chalut 18, gets a rainbow sticker on her cheek from her sister Ellie, 15 both of Jacksonville before the annual St. Pete Pride parade in downtown St. Petersburg on Saturday. This year the route was changed from the Grand Central and Kenwood area to Bayshore Drive.
[EVE EDELHEIT   |   Times]
  5. Retired Florida Supreme Court Justice Parker Lee McDonald dies

    TALLAHASSEE — A former Florida Supreme Court justice, who wrote a decision that prevented lawyers from excluding jurors because of their race, has died.

    Former Florida Supreme Court Justice Parker Lee McDonald died Saturday, the court said in a statement. He was 93.